English edit

Etymology edit

A lipstick tree (Bixa orellana) in Hyderabad, India.
Open fruit pods of the plant which resemble red lips.
The arils covering the seeds of the lipstick tree are a source of the orange-red colourant annatto.

From lipstick +‎ tree, from the resemblance of the open fruit pods of the plant to red lips, or from the fact that the consistency of the arils surrounding its seeds is similar to that of lipstick (see the 1942 quotation).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

lipstick tree (plural lipstick trees)

  1. The shrub Bixa orellana, which is native to Mexico and northern South America; the arils covering its seeds are a source of the orange-red colourant annatto, and the ground seeds are used in traditional Caribbean, Central American, and South American cuisine.
    Synonyms: achiote, anatto, annatto, arnatto
    • 1942 March, W. H. Friend, “Trees Other than Palms”, in Plants of Ornamental Value for the Rio Grande Valley of Texas (Texas Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin; no. 609), College Station, Tex.: Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, →OCLC, page 20:
      Bixa Orellana. Lipstick Tree, Annatto. A small tree producing ovate leaves, panicles of pink to rose flowers, and prickly tan capsules which contain seeds covered with a red coating that is the consistency of lipstick and can be used as a coloring agent. (Bixaceae.)
    • 1960, Sydney Clark, All the Best in Hawaii (Sydney Clark Travel Book), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, →OCLC, page 338:
      Among flowering trees and shrubs of the Kona Coast, kalu, or yellow mimosa, is common, as is the yellow Timor shower, as is the lipstick tree, whose pods give an orange-red substance good not only for lips but—if local claims are true—for margarine.
    • 1963, Bob Krauss, “Hawaii”, in Travel Guide to the Hawaiian Islands: Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, New York, N.Y.: Coward-McCann, →OCLC, page 306:
      If you're curious about what is a macadamia nut, turn left at the sign: royal hawaiian macadamia orchard. A narrow road bumps 3 miles through a forest of lipstick trees to one of Hawaii's new pioneer industries.
    • 1985, Helen A. Wolfe, chapter 2, in Adventure Bound: From Backpacking in New Zealand to Bushwhacking in South Africa, Mount Dora, Fla.: Professional Press, →ISBN, page 56:
      Along the coast road to Guayaquil are numerous plantations: cocoa, coffee, castor bean, fibers, and bananas. Here grow the tropical lipstick trees – source of color for foods — and the flowering African tulips.
    • 2011, Rosabelle Boswell, “Imbibing Scent and Experiencing Sexuality”, in Re-presenting Heritage in Zanzibar and Madagascar, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa, →ISBN, page 114:
      Crushed and infused in warm water, the roots of the lipstick tree increases male desire. However, the seeds of the lipstick tree can also be used as an alternative to saffron and is added to tandoori curry to produce a red colour.
    • 2020, Jatinder Singh, Harmanpreet Meehnian, Parnika Gupta, Madan L. Verma, “Food Colours: The Potential Sources of Food Adulterants and Their Food Safety Concerns”, in Madan L. Verma, editor, Biotechnological Approaches in Food Adulterants (A Science Publishers Book), Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, →ISBN, page 84:
      Achiote or lipstick trees (Bixa orellana) are tropical trees locally found in American, Caribbean, and East Indian woodlands [].

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Further reading edit