Source, Etc

Sappan is the heartwood of Caesalpinia Sappan, Linne (N.O. Leguminosoe), a tree indigenous to India and the Malay Archipelago.


The wood occurs in hard, heavy billets of varying size, usually 2 to 6 inches or more in diameter, consisting of the orange red heartwood to which a little of the whitish sapwood still adheres. Sometimes the wood is reduced to orange red chips. The transverse section exhibits well-marked concentric rings, numerous narrow medullary rays and large vessels. It has no odour, but a slightly astringent taste. The tincture and decoction have a reddish colour which changes to carmine on the addition of solution of sodium hydroxide (compare Logwood).


Sappan wood contains brasilin (see below).


Brazil wood is the heartwood of Caesalpinia brasiliensis, Linne, Brazil, Guiana, West Indies, etc., and other species. Outer surface (after exposure to the air) dark reddish or nearly black, the freshly cut surface reddish brown; vessels smaller than in sappan; decoction coloured carmine by alkalies; contains brasilin, C16H1405, yellowish, which in alkaline solution readily oxidises to brasilein, C16H1206,H10, deep red.

Peachwood is the heartwood of C. echinata, Lamark and also contains brasilin.

Fustic from Chlorophora tinctoria, Gaudich, South America, contains a yellow colouring matter morin or moric acid, C15H10O7, 2H10, together with maclurin; with alum mordants it dyes intense yellow.

Hungarian fustic is obtained from Rhus Cotinus, Linne (N.O. Anacardiaceoe) contains a glucoside fustin which yields by hydrolysis the yellow colouring substance, fisetin, C15H10O6,4H1O, a flavonol derivative closely allied to morin.