Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Bixa orellana
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999.
   Bixaceae -- The Arnotto Family Bibliography
      Bixa orellana

Common name(s): lipstick tree, `alaea, `alaea la`au, achiote, annatto, kumauna
General Information
DistributionNative to the Neotropics, now widely cultivated in tropical regions worldwide.In the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Maui.

Shrub or small tree 1.5-8(-15) m tall; branchlets reddish brown.
Leaves ovate to cordate or ovate-lanceolate, 5-27 cm long, 3-18 cm wide, upper surface glabrous or sparsely lepidote, lower surface densely lepidote, the scales minute, reddish brown, petioles 2-10(-14) cm long, stipules narrowly ovate, ca. 1 cm long.
Flowers in terminal panicles, peduncles and pedicels densely reddish brown; sepals orbicular, ca. 1 cm long, densely reddish brown lepidote; petals white or rarely pinkish, obovate, 2-3 cm long.
Capsules red to brown, variable in size and shape but basically globose to ovoid, 1.5-4.5 cm long, covered with short flexible spines.
Seeds numerous, red, irregularly shaped, ca. 5 mm long.
2n = 14, 16.