Gum, Grass-tree. Yellow Resin, Botany Bay Gum, Earth Shellac. Xanthorrhoea hastilis.
Related entry: Xanthorrhoea resins
Gum, Grass-tree. Yellow Resin. Botany Bay Gum. Resina Acaroides. Yellow Acaroid Resin. Earth Shellac.—An Australian product, occurring as an exudation upon the stems of Xanthorrhoea hastilis R. Br. (Fam. Liliaceae.) It is of a resinous character, usually is found in the markets in the state of small fragments or coarse powder, resulting from the breaking up of the larger brittle masses in which it first occurs. It is of a deep reddish-yellow color in mass, but greenish-yellow in powder. It does not dissolve in the mouth when chewed, nor adhere to the teeth, but has a slightly astringent and aromatic flavor. It melts with heat, and at a higher temperature takes fire in the air, burning with a smoky flame, and emitting a fragrant odor not unlike that of balsam of Tolu. It yields picric acid largely under the action of nitric acid. The natives and early settlers employed it as a medicine in diarrhea. It is said to be used extensively, instead of shellac, as a resinous glaze for confectionery and also in cabinet work, but to be distinctly inferior. For much interesting information concerning it and other resinous products of the genus Xanthorrhoea, see paper by J. H. Maiden, P. J., 1891, xxi. It is obtainable in inexhaustible quantities as the plants producing it are abundant throughout almost the whole of Australia. (A. J. P., 1866, 465.) Three hundred tons of the resin of X. hastilis have been exported in one year, and at one time the price rose to £65 per ton for the best quality, but for ordinary quality it is from £7 to £10. (A. J. P., 1885, 405.) (See article on Xanthorrhoea Resins.)