The lipstick plant, otherwise known as annatto or bixa or ‘alaea, is found on the Big Island on the Hamakua Coast.
Photo © Gerald D. Carr, University of Hawaii Botany Department(source URL: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/)
The seed is used commercially to give a yellow color to many foods including cheese. I dyed this devore scarve using the seeds to see if there would be a difference in color between the silk background and the rayon design. In the picture it looks like the background silk is a butter yellow and the design left white but in actuality the design is a light peachy-yellow. It's quite a pretty color that I haven't yet been able to get from synthetic dyes.
This will be one of the shawls I'll have at the Made in Hawaii Festival next weekend. Stay tuned for a few more experiments with devore scarves and natural dyes.