BRAZIL WOOD, a dark-red or yellowish-brown dye-wood, which forms a consider able article of export from Brazil, where some of the trees which yield it are very abun dant. It is the produce of different species of ceesalpinia (q.v.). The best kinds are those called Pernambuco wood, all saints' wood, and St. Martha wood. Much of the B. W. of commerce is obtained from easalpinia Braeiliensis, a tree which is a native of the West Indies, commonly growing in dry places and among rocks, and seldom exceeding 30 ft. in height. It has bipinnate leaves, with many smooth, obtuse, oblong leaflets, and no terminal leaflets, the flowers in paunicles, with downy stalks. The heart-wood alone is of any value.—PFRN_k3IBUCO WOOD is the produce of easalpinia echinata, a prickly tree, with prickly pods, and of which the red and yellow flowers have a deli cious smell, resembling that of the lily of the valley. The sap-wood is extremely thick, and the valuable heartwood bears a small proportion to the whole diameter of the stem. —The sappan wood (q.v.) of the East Indies nearly approaches B.W. in quality. It is the produce of casalpink sappan, a small thorny tree.—The BRAZELETTO WOOD, sometimes also called 13. W., which is brought from the Antilles, is much inferior. Casalpinia crista
probably yields some of the inferior Wrest Indian Brazil wood.—It is a curious circum stance, that B. W. is said not to take its name from Brazil, but to be mentioned under the name Bra.rilis in documents much older than the discovery of America, the sappan wood of the East Indies being probably intended, and the name of Brazil has even been supposed to be derived from that of this product of its soil.
When freshly cut, the color of B. W. is yellow; but when exposed to air, moisture, and light, it becomes red, and is generally sent into market ground down to the size of ordinary sawdust. When treated with water, alcohol, or ether, the weathered B. W. readily yields up its red coloring matter, called BrazeMin. The latter is supposed to be produced from the oxidation colorless substance called Brazilin, which exists in the original yellow wood of the tree. Strong decoctions of B. W. are used by the dyer and calico-printer in the fabrication of reds, browns, etc.; it is also used in the manufac ture of red iuk. See Lcti.