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Bixaceae Kunth, 1822 nom. cons.
the achiote family
The family includes three genera and a total of 25 species, although Cochlospermum is sometimes placed into its own family, Cochlospermaceae. The best-known member of the achiote family is Bixa orellana, the source of the food colorant and flavour additive annatto, E160b. Although small, the family includes trees, shrubs and herbs. They all have bisexual flowers with 4 or 5 sepals, and many of the plants produce a red, orange or yellow latex. The leaves are simple, alternate, palmately veined, lobed or entire. Stipules are present. The inflorescences may be terminal or axillary. The fruit is a loculicidal capsule. Numerous seeds are produced, glabrous or cottony hairy.
Cochlospermum gillivraei - Australian Kapok
Photograph by Primejyothi (own work) via Wikimedia Commons
Page last updated 22nd March 2018