Le Roucou (Bixa Orellana), also called Rocou, Rocouyer, Urucum, Achiote or lip red tree, is a very branched small ornamental tree, native to the Antilles and South America, which has very powerful tinior properties.It is cautious and needs a minimum of 15 to 17 ° C to develop.
Its alternate, persistent leaves, 15 to 20cm long, are oval with cordiforms, smooth, wide, with the small end.
White or pink flowers tinged with purple, 5 petals, reminiscent of those of Églantine, are worn in terminal panicles forming bouquets of 3 to more than 5 flowers in 5cm sections in diameter.
Flowering gives way to the formation of silky fruits in ovoid capsules, to the long lively or dark red hull that open up to maturity to reveal 10 to 20 pyramidal seeds covered with a red carotenoid pulp resistant to drying and providing theprecious coloring.The Amerindians used it as red dyeing of the skin and hair, and especially against the sting insects, by diluting the seeds in castor oil.
The seeds contain 2 pigments: liposoluble bixin, which dissolves in oily solutions, and water -soluble norbixin, which dissolves in water.They both serve in the food industry as a dye (E160b) of various orange crust cheeses (Livarot, Reblochon ...) of butter, sauces, candy, etc..The cosmetic industry also uses Roucou in solar products and makeup.Just pass a seed on your lips to have a pretty lipstick!
In the West Indian kitchen, the Roucou is used to color the court-bouillon but does not give specific taste.
On the medicinal level, the infusion of Roucou seeds would be febrifuge, the seeds of the seeds would have deworming virtues while the leaves and roots have long been used against the headaches.
Recoucou is cultivated, in the tropical garden, in full sun in a rich, humus and well -drained soil.Elsewhere, it will be planted by tank, and will be winter under shelter, with a bright light.
Sowing is made in the spring at 19-24 ° C after soaking the seeds one night or a day in a glass of water.
Semi-liner cuttings in the summer, in summer, are an expert affair.
Planting can be done all year if the tree is in container if not, favor spring.
Regular watering during growth are recommended with a decrease in their frequency in winter.
If it can be warm during the winter, the Recouyer will continue to push without asking for a lot of maintenance.
Roucou is not sensitive to diseases or attacks in Parisites.
It is a tree that is cultivated in hedge or isolated in a tropical garden or, in the colder countries, in a large tank that will be released during the summer before having returned warm during the winter.
The genus Bixa is monospecific and only understands the Roucou (Bixa Orellana).