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Liriodendron. Liriodendron tulipifera. Tulip Tree, American Tulip-poplar Tree.

Botanical name:

Liriodendron. Liriodendron Tulipifera L. Tulip Tree. American Tulip-poplar Tree. (Fam. Magnoliaceae). White Tulip Bark. Ecorce de Tulipier, Fr. Tulpenbaumrinde, G.—The tulip poplar is a large tree which is abundant in rich soil in the forests from Southern Ontario to Wisconsin and extending into the Southern States, the timber being commonly known as Poplar or White Wood. Its formerly official bark was taken for use indiscriminately from the root, trunk, and branches, though that of the root is thought to be the most active. Deprived of the periderm, it is yellowish-white, the bark of the root being somewhat darker than that of the stem or branches. It is very light and brittle, of a feeble, rather disagreeable odor, strongest in the fresh bark, and of a bitter, pungent, and aromatic taste. These properties are weakened by age, and we have found specimens of the bark, long kept in the shops, almost insipid. Emmet believed the active principle to be the substance discovered by him and named liriodendrin. It is white, crystallizable, brittle, insoluble in water, soluble in alcohol and ether, fusible at 82.2° C. (180°F.), volatilizable and partly decomposed at 132.2° G. (270° F.), of a slightly aromatic odor, and a bitter, warm, pungent taste. It does not unite either with acids or alkalies, and the latter precipitate it from the infusion of the bark by combining with the matter which renders it soluble in water. Water precipitates it from its alcoholic solution. It is obtained by macerating the root in alcohol, boiling the tincture with magnesia until it assumes an olive-green color, then filtering, concentrating by distillation until the liquid becomes turbid, and finally precipitating the liriodendrin by the addition of cold water. (A. J. P., iii, 5.) J. U. Lloyd believes that the active principle is the alkaloid tulipiferine, discovered by him in 1886, and this, according to Bartholow, appears to possess toxic properties. (Ph. Rund., 1886, 169.) The virtues of the bark are extracted by water and alcohol, but are injured by long boiling.

Liriodendron is a stimulant tonic, with diaphoretic properties, and has been used in chronic rheumatism and dyspepsia. Dose, of bark in powder, from half a drachm to two drachms (2.0-7.7 Gm.); of saturated tincture, a fluidrachm (3.75 mils).


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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