Lipstick tree comes to Tamil Nadu

‘Senthooram’, also known commonly as ‘lipstick tree’ (Bixa orellana) has made its way to Tiruchi, thanks to the efforts of tree lovers in the city, who held a plantation ceremony for it near the Anjaneyar Swamy Temple at Kallukuzhi on Monday.

“ The seeds for our saplings were brought from Chhattisgarh thanks to the efforts of C. R. Prassanna, secretary, Department of Public Health and Family Welfare, Chhattisgarh” K.C. Neelamegam, of Thanneer organisation told The Hindu. Thanneer collaborated with Tree Trust and Pasumai Sigaram Trust for Monday’s event.

The first sapling was planted in Kallukuzhi by Tiruchi Collector M. Pradeep Kumar in the presence of environmentalists and senior administration officials. Some more grown cuttings were presented to R. Krishnaswamy, Superintending Engineer, Highways Department, for being planted along the road sides.

“The Senthooram saplings were grown for three years in Tiruchi to test for compatibility; this tree’s seeds are the source for natural colouring agents in cosmetics and food. We found that it thrives when not exposed to direct sunlight,” said P. Thomas, of Tree Trust, who supervised the sapling’s nurture in his home garden in Tiruchi.

Though the tree is native to West Indies, it has been cultivated in India for several centuries for its yellow-orange dye. “Many of the trees that we see in our vicinity, such as the tamarind, are not originally from India. They are foreign imports that have adapted well to our country’s geographical conditions and have become part of our landscape. The lipstick tree is one such example,” said Mr. Thomas.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 8:02:36 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/lipstick-tree-comes-to-tamil-nadu/article65599517.ece