Fustic. Chlorophora tinctoria.
Fustic.—A yellow dye-wood, obtained from Chlorophora tinctoria (L.) Gaud. (Maclura tinctoria D. Don.), a tree of the Fam. Moraceae, growing in the West Indies and South America. It is not used in medicine or pharmacy. According to Bancroft, two different woods bear in England the name of fustic, one the product of the tree just mentioned, distinguished as old fustic, probably from the greater magnitude of the billeta in which it is imported; the other derived from the Rhus cotinus L., or Venice sumach, and called young fustic, or sometimes Hungarian fustic. The wood of C. tinctoria owes its coloring properties to two principles, which have been isolated by R. Wagner; one denominated morin, or morindon, C15H10O6, and the other moritannic acid, C13H8O6, from its resemblance to tannin. The former, when distilled with zinc dust, yields methyl-anthracene, whence the conclusion has been drawn that it is a trioxymethylanthraquinone, C15H7O2(OH)3. (See Chem. Gaz; ix, 1, 21, and 241.) From the fustic of Rhus cotinus L. (fam. Anacardiaceae), or Hungarian fustic, Chevreul extracted a yellow coloring matter, in small crystalline needles when pure, which he called fisetin. J. Schmidt (Ber. d. Chem. Ges., 19, 1734-1749) has made a thorough study of fisetin, and prepared a number of derivatives of it. He states that it occurs in the wood as a tannic acid compound of the glucoside of fisetin, which he calls fustin. This latter body crystallizes from hot water in fine silvery needles, easily soluble in alcohol and dilute alkalies, sparingly in ether. It melts at from 218°-219° C. (424.4°-426.2° F.) with decomposition. By warming with dilute H2SO4 it is split up into fisetin and a glucose (probably isodulcite). The fisetin has the formula C15H10O6, and as it contains four hydroxyl groups, it is probably a tetroxymethylanthraquinone, C15H6O2(OH)4. It is obtained by recrystallization from dilute alcohol or acetic acid; it forms fine yellow needles or yellow prisms. It is very slightly soluble in hot water, easily soluble in alcohol and acetic ether, sparingly in ether and benzene.
The recent importations have been: 1914, 7121 tons, valued at $100,501; and for 1915, 12,354 tons, valued at $179,959.
It has long been known in the Southwest that the wood of the Osage orange tree, Maclura pomifera (Raf.) Schneider, contains a dyestuff that would give a more or less fast yellow color. An examination of the wood from Texas by Kressmann showed that it not only contains moric acid and morintannic acid, the same as fustic wood, but also that the dyeing principles are present in amount to be commercially valuable. A comparative series of dyeing experiments made with fustic and Osage orange wood and extracts showed the latter to be of equal value with fustic in regard to depth of colors produced, the amount of extract, the character of the dyeing, and fastness to light, weather, washing, etc. (Science, 1914, 37.)