The Bixaceae are a family of dicotyledonous plants commonly called the achiote family. Under the Cronquist system, the family was traditionally placed in the order Violales. However, newer arrangements move it, with some other families previously in the Violales, into the Malvales.

Bixa orellana (Achiote)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Bixaceae

Although small, this family includes trees, herbs, and shrubs. The plants are bisexual, and all species have five sepals. All plants within the Bixaceae produce a red, orange, or yellow latex.



The Bixaceae include three genera and a total of 25 species, although Cochlospermum is sometimes placed into its own family Cochlospermaceae. The best-known species is the source of annatto, the achiote, which belongs to the type genus of the family.


  1. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009), "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161 (2): 105–121, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x, hdl:10654/18083, archived from the original on 2017-05-25, retrieved 2010-12-10
  2. ^ Plants of the World Online: Amoreuxia Moc. & Sessé ex DC.