Bixa orellana is a member of the Bixaceae family and is a native of central & South America.
It is an erect shrub with large, glossy green, prominently veined leaves that can become a small tree to 15 metres.
It is grown as a garden ornamental less for its pale pink flowers, which last only one day, than for its highly decorative two-valved seed pods, covered with soft red hairs.
The seeds inside are surrounded by orange-red arils, which yield a dye called annato that can be used in small quantities to color lipstick and foods like cheese and margarine; the dried seed pods are also effective in flower arrangements.
When used as a hedge or screen, Bixa should be pruned often to encourage bushy growth at the bottom of the trunk.
ENJOY THIS ADAPTABLE SHRUB!