A red-coloured wood, chiefly used in the process of dyeing. The tree that affords it is the growth of the Brazils, in South America. The wood is capable of a good polish, and is so hard that it sinks in water Its colour is pale when newly cut, but it becomes deeper by exposure to the air. The various specimens differ in the intensity of their colour, but the heaviest is reckoned the most valuable. It has a sweetish taste when chewed, and is distinguished from red sanders or sandal, by its property of giving out its colour to water, which this last does not. If the Brazil wood be boiled in water for a sufficient time, it will communicate a fine red colour to that fluid. The residue is very dark coloured, and gives out a considerable portion of colouring matter to a solution of alkali. Alcohol extracts the colour from Brazil wood, as does likewise the volatile alkali; and both these are deeper than the aqueous solution. The spirituous tincture stains warm marble of a deepish red, inclining to purple, which on a greater heat becomes violet; and if the stained marble be covered with wax, and considerably heated, it changes through all the shades of brown, and at last becomes fixed of a chocolate colour.

The colours imparted to cloth by Brazil wood are of little permanence.

A very minute portion of alkali, or even soap, darkens it into purple. Hence paper stained with it may be used as a test of saturation with the salts. Alum added to the decoction of this wood occasions a fine crimson red precipitate or lake, which is increased in quantity by the addition of alkali to the liquor. The crimson red colour is also precipitated by muriate of tin, but it is darkened by the salts of iron. Acids change it to yellow, from which, however, solution of tin restores it to its natural hue. A strong decoction of Brazil wood, with as much alum as it can dissolve, and a little gum, forms a good red ink; some manufacturers add cochineal to give the colour more permanence and brilliancy: good red ink may, however, be made without this addition.