The snowy white flowers of Annatto make it an attractive ornamental shrub. The fleshy arils surrounding the seeds produce an orange-red dye, the traditional source of war paint in South America.
Place of origin
Bixa Orellana originated in South America, but has spread to many parts of the world.
The main producers are countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and also India and Sri lanka, where it was introduced by the Spanish in the 17th century.
Did you know?
Annatto dye is tasteless and non toxic, and wildly used to color butter, margarine, cheese, chocolate, lipstick and nail varnish. In its true form it tastes lightly sweet and peppery.