Bixa orellana

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Achiote
An achiote blossom
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Bixaceae
Genus: Bixa
Species: B. orellana
Binomial name
Bixa orellana
L.
Bixa orellana

Achiote (Bixa orellana) is a shrub or small tree from the tropical area of the American continent. The name comes from the Nahuatl word for the shrub, achiotl. It is also known as Aploppas, and its first Tupi name urucu. It is grown there and in Southeast Asia, where it was brought by the Spanish in the 17th century. It is best known as the source of the natural pigment annatto, made from the fruit. The plant bears pink flowers and bright red spiny fruits which contain red seeds. The fruits dry and harden to brown capsules.