Huito

Genipa americana

Orden: Order: Rubiales

Familia: Family: Rubiaceae

Género: Genus: Genipa

Especie: Species: Americana

Nombres comunes: Common names: Chipara, elig, genipapo, guayatil colorado, higinio, jagua, uito.

Parte de la planta que se usa para el pigmento: Part of the plant used for pigment: Fruit

Color: Grayish-indigo

Huito pigment on paper. 102 x 68 cm.

Herbarium. Dried Huito leaves, sewn on rice paper.
77 x 57 cm. 2013.

Monotype on rice paper made from the dried Huito leaves.
100 x 65 cm. 2013.

Planta

Plant

Huito. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Descripción general

General Description

Tree with wide crown, which may grow up to twenty meters in height. Its cylindrical, upright trunk has an irregular-shaped bark, elliptical leaves, clustered at the end of the branches. Its individual white and yellow flowers are bundled next to the leaves. Its grayish-brown fruit is round and fleshy, and also gathers at the end of the branch.

Distribución geográfica
e historia natural

Geographic Distribution
and Natural History

Found in tropical America, from Mexico to Argentina, as well as in the West Indies. It can be found in different environments, mostly in mountain slopes and wet and rainy forests in warm weather. Pollination ordinarily occurs by bees, and the plants’ fruits are spread by birds and mammals.

Huito. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Distribución geográfica
e historia natural

Geographic Distribution
and Natural History

Found in tropical America, from Mexico to Argentina, as well as in the West Indies. It can be found in different environments, mostly in mountain slopes and wet and rainy forests in warm weather. Pollination ordinarily occurs by bees, and the plants’ fruits are spread by birds and mammals.

Preparation of the pigment with the huito seeds. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Usos

Uses

The fruit is used to produce beverages and desserts. Diverse indigenous communities have used it to produce ink for tattooing, as insect repellent, and to dye textiles, hammocks and paint utensils. The plant is used to produce a fiber to make clothes, and timber used to build cabinets and other minor constructions. It is also useful as medicine for its antibiotic, diuretic and laxative properties.

Pigmento

Pigment

Huito provides a grayish-indigo, extracted by grating its fruit. The color obtained from the huito properly adheres to cotton and paper, but this is not the case with fique (natural fiber). The pigment dissolves in water or alcohol; the latter allowing the creation of a more intense indigo.

Video. Huito plant. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Extracción + teñido

Extraction + dyeing

Palo Brasil

Simira cordifolia

Orden: Order: Rubiales

Familia: Family: Rubiaceae

Género: Genus: Simira

Especie: Species: Cordifolia

Nombres comunes: Common names: Palo brasil, pau brasil, pernambuco, menekúu.

Parte de la planta que se usa para el pigmento: Part of the plant used for pigment: Bark

Color: Pink

Palo brasil pigment on paper. 102 x 68 cm

Herbarium. Dried Palo brasil leaves, sewn on rice paper.
77 x 57 cm. 2013.

Monotype on rice paper made from the dried Palo brasil leaves.
100 x 65 cm. 2013.

Planta

Plant

Palo brasil. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Descripción general

General Description

A fairly large tree, which grows up to 20 meters in height. The leaves are oblong and are found in the uppermost part of the tree. The tree has a smooth bark, and branches located high on the trunk. Its small, white and beige, bell-shaped flowers cluster at the ends of each branch. Its round, fleshy fruits are opaque in color.

Distribución geográfica
e historia natural

Geographic Distribution
and Natural History

Distributed in tropical America, especially in the Amazon basin. Grows in warm climates and middle and lower mountain areas. This is not a common tree and it is generally found within the forest.

Palo brasil. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Distribución geográfica
e historia natural

Geographic Distribution
and Natural History

Distributed in tropical America, especially in the Amazon basin. Grows in warm climates and middle and lower mountain areas. This is not a common tree and it is generally found within the forest.

Color extraction process from the bark of the Palo brasil. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Usos

Uses

Palo brasil’s timber is highly prized, used for building numerous objects. Indigenous communities in the Colombian, Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon value this tree because of its pigment, which is used to dye fibers for handbags and hammocks. The high regard and demand for timber have resulted in it becoming a threatened species.

Pigmento

Pigment

A range of pink and red tones is obtained after macerating the internal bark of this tree. palo brasil’s color sets well on paper, but not so well on cotton, on which it adheres only mildly. Long periods of exposure to fire are needed for it to set well on fique (natural fiber). Due to the nature of extraction —which requires cutting fragments of the bark of a scarce species—the tree was used as little as possible.

Video. Palo brasil plant. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Extracción + teñido

Extraction + dyeing