Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mararu - urucu fruit

Continuing with my afternoon walk around the small farm belong to the owners of AC Variedades, I spotted this urucu (Bixia orellana) plant. As described in another post, the seeds of the fruit are covered with a red pulp that must have been the first red lipstick ever invented. In fact, some people refer to it as the "lipstick plant". It's also the source of a red paint used by Indians for painting ceramics, as well as their own bodies for special occasions. Bixia means bright red in Latin and the species, orellana is in honor of Francisco Orellana, the first European to come down the Amazon River.

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