Plant of the month December
Bixa orellana - Achiote
The Achiote is one of the oldest crop plants in South America and is now cultivated in the complete tropical area.
As early as the 1490’s the red dye obtained from the ground seeds has been used to color textiles and for red ink. Today annatto is a verified food colorant (E160b) and is used for coloring cheese, ice cream and other food items with yellow to red color.
Furthermore it’s used for the manufacture of lipstick, causing it’s nickname „lipstick tree“