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Plant Informational Database

Lipstick Tree

Bixa orellana

a.k.a. Annato, Urucum, Achiote

Spiny red fruit with hard, deep red seeds that are used as a spice, in cosmetics, and as an industrial dye.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.


Small tree or bush, to 6-20ft. Most types or red, but there are rarer, yellow and green fruiting plants.


Lipstick trees are frost sensitive and grows best in direct sunlight.

Growing Environment

The lipstick tree will succeed in subtropical climates, but flourishes in the tropics, where profusions of fruit ripen on and off throughout the year.


Often propagated by seed, which can sprout from 2-16 weeks after planting. Cuttings can be rooted, and some plants are propagated by grafting. Lipstick tree's usually bear fruit within 1-2 years from seed or planting.


Seeds yield a red dye that is used in numerous commercial and industrial processes. Historically, indigenous peoples have used the seeds and plant for body paint, and to treat a variety of maladies.

Native Range

Native to Central and South America. Has spread throughout much of the Caribbean and many tropical regions on other continents.

Additional Pictures

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Related Species

Bixa orellana
Lipstick Tree