Baphia nitida

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African sandalwood (Baphia nitida).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Baphia
Species: B. nitida
Binomial name
Baphia nitida

Baphia nitida (camwood), also known as African sandalwood, is a shrubby, hard-wooded African tree. Its wood is commonly used to make a red dye. The earliest dye wood (Camwood) was from West Africa. The source of the dye, which is soluble in alkali, is the bark and heart of the tree.Camwood is a red dye-wood imported from tropical West Africa, and obtained from Baphia nifida, a leguminous tree, of the suborder Caesalpinieae. This wood is of a very fine colour, and is used in turnery for making knife handles and other similar articles. The dye obtained from it is brilliant, but not permanent. It is called sometimes Bar-wood, though this name belongs also to another tree.

Camwood is known as "osun" in Yoruba and is a key ingredient in Dudu Osun, a Nigerian brand of black soap.

Pterocarpin is a pterocarpan found in B. nitida.[1]


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