The British Cyclopaedia: Bixineæ. The Arnotto family.

The British Cyclopaedia
of the arts, sciences, history, geography, literature, natural history and biography; copiously illustrated by engravings on wood and steel by eminent artists.
Edited by Charles F. Partington, professor of mechanical philosphy, author of various works on natural and experimental philosophy, &c., assisted by authors of eminence in the various departments of science.
Complete in ten volumes.
Volume VI.
Natural history.
London: WM. S. Orr and Co., Amen Corner, Paternoster Row.
A natural order of dicotyledonous plants, containing six genera and upwards of twenty species. The order is by some included under the Flacourtianeae. It is nearly allied to the Cistineae and Homalineae.

Its botanical characters are: — Sepals or leaves of the calyx varying from four to seven, with an imbri cated aestivation; petals five, sometimes wanting; stamens indefinite, inserted on a disk; anthers two celled; ovary superior, sessile, one-celled; style single, or in two or four divisions; fruit, a many-seeded, single-celled capsule or berry. The plants See Pitch, Coal, 505 hotter parts of America and in the Mauritius. They are not remarkable for their beauty, or for the useful purposes to which they are applied.

Their properties will be best shown by the following examples — The chief genus (whence the order is named) is called Bixa, a term derived from the American name of the plants. The red pulp which covers the seeds of the Bira Orellana yields the sub stance known by the name of arnotto. It used to be denominated Terra orellana, or orleana, and is called by the French, rocou. The seeds are separated from the pulp by maceration in hot water, and the pulp is then made into balls or cakes, which when dried constitute the arnotto of commerce. Good arnotto is soft to the touch, and dissolves entirely in water. It is slightly purgative and stomachic, and is used in Jamaica and other warm countries as a remedy for dysentery and disorders of the kidneys. Dyers form with it the colour called aurora, and when mixed with lemon juice and a gum it forms a crimson paint with which the Indians adorn their persons. By the Spaniards it is used for the purpose of adding to the colour and flavour of chocolate and soups. In Gloucestershire and other counties it is employed to colour cheese, and in Holland butter is dyed with it. The bark of the tree is made into ropes in the West Indies, and the wood is used for the purpose of procuring fire by friction. The other genera of the order are, Ludia, Laetia, Prockia, Banara, and Azara. The bark of Ludia heterophylla and sessiliflora has emetic properties. The azaras are Chilian shrubs, with fragrant flowers not known in the gardens of Europe.

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