Ocotea usambarensis, Engl, is a tree that is also known as the Ibean camphor tree. From the bark there was distilled a volatile oil at the Imperial Biological-Agricultural Institute in Amani, German East Africa, which oil was examined by R. Schmidt and K. Weilinger5).
The bark of the tree, which belongs to the Lauraceae and which occurs in large numbers in the primeval forests, yielded 0,15 p.c. of a volatile oil of the following properties: b. p. 50 to 160° (10 mm.); d20o0,913; aD20o - 11° 12'; nD 1,476; A.V. 1,2; E. V. 12,5; content of free alcohol C10H18O 4,5 p. c; free from nitrogen and sulphur. Upon shaking out the oil with potassium hydroxide solution, 0,3 p.c. of a phenol not further characterized was obtained. With bisulphite solution 1 p. c. of myristic aldehyde was obtained. This was characterized by its semicarbazone l) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1912, 90.
2) Compt. rend. 126 (1898), 1423.
3) Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1898, 60.
4) Ibidem October 1911, 60.
5) Berl. Berichte 39 (1906), 652.
(m. p. 100 to 101°) and by its oxidation to myristic acid. Upon shaking the oil with hydrazine benzene sulphonic acid a small amount of a ketone was obtained, the semicarbazone of which melted at 197°. In addition, the oil contained 40 p.c. cineol (iodol compound), 40 p.c. 1-terpineoI (b. p. 100 to 110° at 12 mm. pressure; d20o 0,922; aD - 37° 6'; nD 1,484) which was characterized by its conversion into dipentene dihydrochloride (m. p. 46°), and 10 p.c. sesquiterpene C15H24 (b. p. 136 to 142° at 12 mm.; d20o0,915; aD + 7°46; nD 1,505) the dihydrochloride of which (m. p. 116 to 117°) is not identical with cadinene dihydrochloride.
In the Imperial Institute1), London, a number of samples of the wood have been examined: the sap-wood which had a faint odor of eucalyptus oil; branches and twigs, which, when freshly broken, revealed the same odor, but rather stronger; branches and twigs, stated to be shoots from the stump of a tree which had been cut down some years previously. Upon steam distillation each of the three samples yielded a volatile oil with the following properties respectively: -
Branches and twigs
Branches and twigs from stump
0,52 p. c.
- 7° 30'
- 7° 30'
Solubility in 80 p.c. alcohol
In 1,1 vol.
In 1,1 vol.
Insoluble even in 10vol.
The two first mentioned oils were light yellow in color and their odor reminded one of that of eucalyptus oil. They contained but little cineol and the presence of camphor could not be detected. The oil from the shoots was more limpid than the other two, which it resembled both as to odor and color. Judging from the odor, it contained a higher cineol percentage, but the small amount of oil precluded an analysis.
1) Bull. Imp. Inst. 9 (1911), 340.