Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Annatto, Lipstick Plant, Urucum, Colorau, Achiote
Bixa orellana

Family: Bixaceae
Genus: Bixa (BIKS-uh) (Info)
Species: orellana

Synonym:Bixa katagensis

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Mitjo
Thumbnail #1 of Bixa orellana by Mitjo

By golddog
Thumbnail #2 of Bixa orellana by golddog

By Mitjo
Thumbnail #3 of Bixa orellana by Mitjo

By Mitjo
Thumbnail #4 of Bixa orellana by Mitjo

By Mitjo
Thumbnail #5 of Bixa orellana by Mitjo

By DivaElena
Thumbnail #6 of Bixa orellana by DivaElena

By poppysue
Thumbnail #7 of Bixa orellana by poppysue

There are a total of 22 photos.
Click here to view them all!


3 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative MarlaBalla On Mar 5, 2015, MarlaBalla from Port Charlotte, FL wrote:

I too have had the same issue with growing the Annatto tree from seed. I purchased the seed from Horizon Herbs and both times the seeds germinated quickly but soon withered before its first set of true leaves. I've tried three times so far under perfect soil/water/weather conditions. I'm trying to increase the humidity by covering the seedlings but it doesn't appear to be working. I live in SW Florida.

Neutral ara133 On Jul 5, 2014, ara133 from State College, PA wrote:

This is the 2nd time I've tried to grow bixa orellana... the seeds germinate readily but the seedlings get their first true leaf and all the leaves suddenly drop off and they stop growing. Indoors, regular miracle gro potting soil, watered regularly. I just put one out on the balcony because it's been really humid - it hasn't dropped its leaves yet (still has 2 seed leaves and 1 'real'); perhaps humidity is key.

Positive FlaFlower On Apr 18, 2014, FlaFlower from Miami Dade, FL (Zone 11) wrote:

I started them from seed last year here in zone 9A completely without issue. They were robust and cold hearty the stated zone 11 simply isn't true, I did no protection of them and they laughed at out cold snaps and continued to grow well even threw the winter. Beautiful leaves! Nice straight up ward growth so far.

Positive lauraroxie On Jan 8, 2009, lauraroxie from Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:

Plant is growing quite well in the University of South Florida botanical garden. It is growing in partial shade. While this plant is listed as a zone 11 plant, the area is a humid 9A and 12-15 feet tall. Plant recieved several hours in the low to mid 20s last winter and bloomed heavily the following fall.

Neutral htop On Jan 26, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant which is the only species of the family Bixaceae. Annatto, Lipstick Plant, Urucum, Colorau (Bixa orellana) is naturalized in Hawaiia, Puerto Rico and the Vigin Islands.

Positive Monocromatico On Jul 14, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

From the seeds of this plant you can obtain annato, a commonly used red condiment. The flowers are beautiful, pink, but the fruits are the most attarctive, red and spiny.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dunnellon, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Titusville, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Pukalani, Hawaii

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America