Gloriosa superba
  Malabar Neem
  Aloe vera
  Safed Musli

Introduction :
This is called Latakar, Jaffra, in Hindi, Sinduri puspi, Trinapuspi, Sinkomala, Raktabeeja, Karachamala in Sanskrit, Shadari in Marathi, Sinduri in Gujarati, Annato in English and Bixorellana in Scientific. This is an evergreen shrub and grows to 15 ft. height. This is a native of America and also India. It is grown extensively in Brazil and Mexico for its dye. In India it is grown in Karnataka. AP, MP, TN, Orissa, Maharashtra. Its leves resemble the shape and size of bettle leaves. There are two types of species viz.,

01) White flowers and yellow fruit

02) Red flowers and red fruit

Both shrubs yield fruit in bunches. The fruit is covered with rind and has soft spines. The fruit has orange red seeds in it about 50 in numbr. The shrub blooms between August to December and yields fruit in March/April. On ripening the fruit splits lengthwise and the seeds start appearing. After sometime the seeds will dry up. The dye extracted from the seeds is called Bixin.

Important Uses of Annato :

It is used in medicines for many ailments. This is good for viral fevers and urinary problems. When the red dust on the seeds is mixed with water and applied on the body. It acts as a mosquito repellent.

It is useful for general health if the leaves are ground to past and mixed with missri and taken orally. As the dye is edible it is used for colouring butter, paneer, ghee, margarine, ice creams etc. It is also used as dye on cloth, skin, boot polish, medicines, cosmetics etc.,

Cultivation Practices :
Soil : Any type of soil is suitable for Annato. Red soils and light soils are best suited. It can also be cultivated in black soil, which are having good drainage. It comes up well in pH range of in 6.5 – 8.0. This can be cultivated as sole crop or this can be intercropped with others like turmeric, ginger, Sarpagandha, Ashwagandha, Safed Musli.
Climate : It is a tropical plant, so it performs well in India. It grows well in temperature range of 20-450 C and rainfall of about 500 – 750 mm.
Planting : Planting can be done during the months of July to September or in January – February. Saplings can be raised from the seeds in April to May.
Planting Methods :
  • Plough the field twice or more to remove the weeds.

  • Prepare the pits at 10*10 feet distance.

  • Pit size 1*1*1

  • Mix 5-7 kg of FYM, 100 gms of super phosphate, 400 gms of neem cake, with the soil removed from the pits and fill them with the same.