Lipstick Tree (കുരങ്ങുമഞ്ഞൾ)
Scientific Name: Bixa orellana L.
Synonyms: Bixa acuminata Boj., Bixa americana Poir.
Unique ID: 30
Sub Class: Polypetalae
English – Lipstick tree, Annatto tree
Malayalam – Kurangumanjal
Tamil – Sappiravirai
Hindi – Latkan
Description: These are annuals which grow upto 25 cm in height. The base is woody. Stem is slender to robust, simple and at the apex is covered by dense thick hair. There are upto 13 leaves, the rachis is slender, moderately covered by dense thick hair, the leaflets are 6-14 pairs, the leaflet blades are obovate-oblong or oblong, 3–15 × 2–7 mm, base is almost symmetric, usually smooth and sometimes covered by trichomes. There are several flowers on the umbels, the peduncle is 2-7 cm and is subequal to the length of hte leaf. There are several bracts which are lanceolate and arranged densely at the apex of the peduncle, with the cluster measure ~3mm. The pedicel is 3mm in the fruit but ~1mm at the anthesis. Sepals are with glandular septate trichomes and 5-6mm in size. The petals are longer than sepals and yellow in color. The capsule is covered with hairs, 4–5 x 3–4mm in size, ellipsoid-obovoid in shape. Flowering and fruiting from July-December.
Habitat: Cultivated, tolerant of poor soils but intolerant of shades
Distribution: Grown as an ornamental tree. Native to South America.
Uses: Used in Ayurveda, Folk medicine, Homoeopathy, Siddha; Seeds yield a red colored dye.