Bixaceae Kunth
  • Malvac., Buttner., Tiliac. 17. 1822. (20 Apr 1822)

This taxon is accepted by World Flora Online consortium
Notes: More details could be found in The Plant List v.1.1. Originally in The Plant List v.1.0

General Description

Shrubs or small trees. Young branches and leaves with peltate scales. Leaves alternate; stipules small, sheathing bud, fugacious; petiole swollen at base and apex; leaf blade simple, palmately veined. Inflorescence a terminal panicle. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic. Sepals 5, free, imbricate, with basal, abaxial glands, fugacious. Petals 5, imbricate, large and conspicuous. Stamens many, free or slightly united at base; anthers oblong, with 2 inverted, U-shaped thecae, dehiscing by short, apical slits on bend. Ovary superior, 1-loculed; ovules many on 2 parietal placentas; style slender; stigmas 2-lobed. Fruit a capsule, loculicidally 2-valved, usually spiny. Seeds many; testa red, slightly fleshy; embryo large; cotyledons broad, incurved at apex; endosperm copious.

One genus and five species: native to tropical America; one species widely cultivated in tropical regions, including China.

Molecular data suggest that the genus Diegodendron Capuron, endemic to Madagascar, is related to Bixa and could be included within the Bixaceae.

Zhang Pengyun & Zhang Yaojia. 1990. Bixaceae. In: Li Hsiwen, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 50(2): 180.


"Ovary superior, 1-celled, with 2 parietal placentas; ovules numerous; style slender, recurved in bud; stigma 2-lobed"

"Stamens numerous, hypogynous; filaments free; anthers horse-shoe-shaped, opening by short slits at the top"

"Seeds obovoid; testa rather fleshy, red; endosperm copious; embryo large; cotyledons broad, incurved at the apex"

"Fruit a densely echinate-setose or smooth capsule, 2-valved; valves thick, with the placentas in the middle"

"Sepals 5, imbricate, deciduous, with a large fleshy gland at the base outside"

"Flowers hermaphrodite, medium-sized, showy, paniculate"

Disk none

"Petals 5, large, imbricate, without a scale at the base"

Shrubs or small trees with coloured juice

"Leaves alternate, simple, palminerved, stipulate"


  • 1
  • 2 Malvac., Buttner., Tiliac. 17. 1822. (20 Apr 1822)

 Information From

Plants Of the World Online Portal
  • A
Flora Of China @
'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  • B All Rights Reserved
World Flora Online Data. 2017.
  • C CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
World Flora Online consortium
World Flora Online Data. 2017.
  • D CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).