This lovely tropical and sub-tropical shrub or bushy tree has glossy, ovate, evergreen leaves on twigs which are covered with rust-coloured scales when young and are bare when older. Sprays of attractive pink and white flowers open, producing striking, bright red, two-valved fruits, covered with dense soft bristles. When ripe, they split open revealing masses of small, inedible, fleshy seeds, covered with red-orange pulp. The inedible fruit is harvested for its seeds which produce the reddish orange dye annatto, which is one of the most important food grade natural colourants widely used in the dairy industry, and also for confectionery and bakery products, as well as non-edible purposes such as cosmetics and dying leather.
These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and should be sown into a well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered thinly with sand or grit and kept moist. Keep at between 20-25 degrees C. Seeds sometimes germinate within 4 to 6 weeks although some varieties may take very much longer so please be patient. Plant out in the open ground in warmer countries or in a large container elsewhere.
Common name:Achiote, Aploppas, Annatto,Annatto, Annato, Arnotta, Bija, Latkan, Lipstick Tree, Rocou, Rocouyer, Roucou
Classification:Half hardy tree, Greenhouse perennial
Packet Content:8 (Approx)