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This erect shrub with large, glossy green, prominently veined leaves that can become a small tree several feet tall. It is grown as a garden ornamental less for its pale pink flowers, which last only one day, than for its highly decorative two-valved seed pods, covered with soft, deep red hairs. The seeds inside are surrounded by orange-red arils, which yield a dye called annato that can be used in small quantities to color lipstick and foods like cheese and margarine; the dried seed pods are also effective in flower arrangements. When used as a hedge or screen, Bixa should be pruned often to encourage bush growth at the bottom of the trunk.
Small tree with edible orange fruit that looks like a small mango or apricot. Maprang fruits, especially the sweet varieties, are consumed fresh or eaten cooked in syrup. Entire immature fruits are chopped and used as an ingredient in the spicy condiment sambal, and are pickled to prepare asinan. Young leaves are also consumed in salads and eaten with sambal. Propagated by seed, air layers or grafting. It is becoming a popular fruit tree in Thailand. It is commonly grown as home garden trees and the cultivation is expanding to small orchards. The Thai Government is trying to help in exporting this fruit as some Thai firms have started to advertise ma-praang fruit for export.
This tropical American native occurs in Colombia and Venezuela, though it is widely grown in other tropical regions worldwide. A true tropical, it requires frost-free environment with hight air humidity. Assuming you can provide the tropical conditions, the species grows into a nice medium size tree 20-25 ft (smaller in containers), with dense umbrella-like canopy, spreading 15-20 ft wide.
Young leaves a pale green to pinkish, almost white, sometimes with light variegation, and hangs down like a large handkerchief (like in all related species (browneas, amherstia, maniltoa, etc.).
Flowering occurs on 3-4th year from seed, at the base of the branches. The flower lasts a few days, however the view is unforgettable.
A slow-growing, small tree with very large heads of red flowers which hang beneath the foliage. The leaflets are aristate, having an elongated apex. This species is less spreading than other brownia species, with some branches ascending. The leaves have 5-7 leaflets and are uniformly pinky brown when young. The inflorescences, which occur on the old twigs as well as the ends of the branches, are less densely packed than other species, but the flowers are somewhat larger giving a more lax look to the lanterns. The petals have a more magenta hue. The dark brown pods are not hairy. Brownea capitella is sometimes considered a subspecies of Brownea coccinea, which has small, bright red inflorescences and hairless green twigs. Close related species - Brownea grandiceps, Brownea ariza.