Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Bixa orellana
L., Bixaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk (based on second screen), score: 1 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: achiote, achoti

Chinese: hong mu

English: annato, annatto, arnatto, arnotto, lipstick plant, lipstick tree

Fijian: nggesa, nggisa, qesa

French: atole, roucou, roucouyer

Hawaiian: ‘alaea, ‘alaea la‘au, kūmauna

Japanese: hiryu-sida, okenoki

Maori (Cook Islands): ‘uaeva

Palauan: búrek, burk

Pohnpeian: doaloa rais

Samoan: loa, loa, loa

Spanish: achiote, achote, annato, bija

Tahitian: ‘uaefa

Tongan: loa

Wallisian: lo‘a, loa

Yapese: rang

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Shrub or small tree 2-10 m tall.  Young twigs, inflorescences and leaves finely lepidote and ± glabrescent.  Twigs rusty lepidote, glabrescent, terete, smooth, 4-5 mm diameter.  Leaves remote, 3-5 cm apart, alternate, spirally arranged, simple chartaceous, ovate to broadly so, (6-) 10-15 (-16) cm, base cordate, rarely truncate, apex attenuate, margin entire; 5 main veins radiating from insertion of petiole, central vein with 4-7 pairs of looping lateral veins, flat or slightly raised above, strongly prominent below; petiole terete, glabrescent, 1-1.5 mm diameter, thickened at apex and base, 4-12 cm long; stipules lepidote, 5-8 mm long, narrowly triangular, soon caducous, leaving a pair of prominent almost annular scars at each node.  Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, in terminal several- to many-flowered bracteate panicles or corymbs, 6-15 cm long; bracts 5-10 mm long, soon caducous.  Pedicels ± terete, densely reddish squamulose, 1-1.5 mm diameter, 5-8 mm long, swollen apically with 5 (-6) large sessile glands, alternating with the sepals.  Sepals (4-) 5, free, imbricate, caducous, ovate to orbicular, spoon-shaped, 9-12 mm long, apex rounded, densely finely lepidote outside, sparsely so inside.  Petals glabrous, (4-) 5 (-7), free, imbricate, ± unequal, think papery, obovate, 2-3 x 1-2 cm, apex rounded or retuse, white, pink, lavender or mauve.  Stamens numerous, filaments filiform, free, 10-15 mm long; anthers 1 mm long.  Ovary ± globose, 2-3 mm high, with a dense covering of fleshy bristles, 1-locular with 2 parietal placentas bearing many ovules; style 10-15 mm long, thickened upwards curved in bud, stigma with 2 obscure teeth.  Fruit a 2-valved loculicidal capsule, ovate to broadly so, 2-4 x 2-3.5 cm, with rounded, acute or acuminate apex, densely covered with bristles to 8 mm long; seeds numerous, obovoid, angular, 4-5 mm long, the seed coat producing a strong red dye"  (Henty, 1981; pp. 1-3).

"An arborescent shrub with dark ovate acuminate subcordate leaves 5-15 cm long, 4-11 cm wide, entire or angled, on moderately long petioles about 1/3 the length of the blade; flowers showy, white or pink, nearly 5 cm broad; fruit 2-valved, ovoid, red, spiny, 2.5-5 cm long; seeds many, ovate, with a scarlet covering"  (Stone, 1970; 426).

Habitat/ecology:  "Annatto is shade-intolerant and must have disturbance or a broken forest canopy to become established. All the naturally growing annatto shrubs in Puerto Rico are found on neglected or abandoned farmland, some of which has grown up to early secondary forest. Rainfall ranges from 1000 mm to 3000 mm per year in areas where the species grows naturally or under cultivation. Soils with textures from sands to clays are colonized. The species tolerates relatively low base saturation and moderate compaction. Anatto is vulnerable to overtopping and smothering by trees, shrubs, vines, and grass. Plants that have become overtopped and shaded cease to flower and bear fruit. The species is frost sensitive (von Carlowitz 1991)  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).

In Hawai‘i, "sparingly naturalized" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 390).  In Fiji, "noted from near sea level to an elevation of about 600m, usually cultivated but also occasionally naturalized on edges of forest, in thickets, and in waste places" (Smith, 1981; p. 670).  In Papua New Guinea, "In gardens and secondary regrowth or disturbed forest to 2000 m altitude, on well-drained areas or margins of Metroxylon swamps.  It is unquestionably naturalized in Papuasia but certainly owes its distribution to man.  It can be expected in flower and fruit throughout the year, often on the same plant"  (Henty, 1981; p. 3).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Neotropics, now widely distributed in tropical regions worldwide" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 390).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ofu Island Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 52)
"Moderate on all of the islands".
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Olosega Island Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 52)
"Moderate on all of the islands".
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 52)
"Moderate on all of the islands". Voucher cited: Yuncker 9224 (BISH)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
cultivated
Setchell, William Albert (1924) (p. 68)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 173)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 173)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 48)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 14)
Utwe to Walung road, one seen.
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 173)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Glassman, S. F. (1952) (p. 59)
Voucher cited: Glassman 2901 (US)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 74)
Vouchers cited: M.J. Balick 3937 (NY, PTBG), A. Dores 207 (NY, PTBG), F.R. Fosberg 26361 (BISH), S.F. Glassman 2901 (BISH), M. Takamatsu 625 (BISH)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1998) (voucher ID: PTBG 33314)
Taxon name on voucher: Bixa orellana L.
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 43552)
Taxon name on voucher: Bixa orellana
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 173)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 670)
Vouchers cited: Smith 6783, Greenwood 424A, Bierhorst F70, DA 16856, DA 13482
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 670)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 424, Degener 14898, H.B.R. Parham 111, DA 273, DA 396, Valentine 5
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 4407 (PAP), J. Florence 6674 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou (Huapu, Uapou, Uapu) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou (Huapu, Uapou, Uapu) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Huahine Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 22)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 51)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 61009
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 51)
Voucher cited: BRY 26654
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 51)
Vouchers cited: Grant 4550, Cheung 007
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2650 (PAP)
Naturalisée. "Ornementale rare à Tahiti".
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 426)
Voucher cited: Stone 4017 (GUAM)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 173)
Probably cultivated.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 390)
Sparingly naturalized.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 390)
Sparingly naturalized.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 390)
Sparingly naturalized.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 390)
Sparingly naturalized.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 88)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 23)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 25602, Kusser in MacKee 26388, MacKee 32062, Bégaud in MacKee 37174
Spontané
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 51)
Single tree reported by Sykes, 1970. Present status unknown. Voucher cited: CHR 168847
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 39)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 100)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 173)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 96)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1966) (voucher ID: BNM 863)
Taxon name on voucher: Bixa orellana L.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1966) (voucher ID: BNM 209)
Taxon name on voucher: Bixa orellana L.
Papua New Guinea
Bougainville Islands
Bougainville Island   Foreman, D. B. (1971) (p. 35)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Henty, E. E., ed. (1981) (pp. 1-3)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 103)
In and about towns, usually planted, but at least persisting after cultivation is abandoned.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 88)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
cultivated
Burkill, I. H. (1900) (p. 26)
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Futuna Island introduced
invasive
Morat, Ph./Veillon, J.-M. (1985)
Morat & Veillon, 1985, cited in Meyer, 2007
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis and Futuna Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 88)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Cultivated, tolerant of poor soils but intolerant of shade. Guangdong, Yunnan.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 103)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 19)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Cultivated, tolerant of poor soils but intolerant of shade.
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 106)
Naturalized
French Territory of Mayotte
Mayotte Islands
Mayotte Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
naturalisée, potentiellement envahissant


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 5 NOV 2011.