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madder,common name for the Rubiaceae, a family of chiefly tropical and subtropical trees, shrubs, and herbs, especially abundant in N South America. The family is important economically for several tropical crops, e.g., coffee, quinine, and ipecac, and for many ornamentals, e.g., the gardenia, bluet, madder, bedstraw, and partridgeberry. Coffeecoffee,
a tree, its seeds, and the beverage made from them. The coffee tree, a small evergreen of the genus Coffea, has smooth, ovate leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers that mature into deep red fruits about 1-2 in. (1.27 cm) long.
..... Click the link for more information. beans come from several species of the genus Coffea, bushes and trees of the Old World tropics; many are African. The medicine quininequinine
, white crystalline alkaloid with a bitter taste. Before the development of more effective synthetic drugs such as quinacrine, chloroquine, and primaquine, quinine was the specific agent in the treatment of malaria.
..... Click the link for more information. comes from the bark of evergreen trees (cinchonacinchona
, name for species of the genus Cinchona, evergreen trees of the madder family native to the Andean highlands from Bolivia to Colombia and also to some mountainous regions of Panama and Costa Rica.
..... Click the link for more information. ) native to the Andes. The drug ipecacipecac
, drug obtained from the dried roots of a creeping shrub, Cephaelis (or Psychotria) ipecacuanha, native to Brazil but cultivated in other tropical climates.
..... Click the link for more information. , or ipecacuanha, is obtained from the dried rhizomes and roots of Psychotria (Cephaëlis) ipecacuanha and related species, shrubby herbaceous perennials of tropical forests in Central and South America. Madder (Rubia tinctorum), also called turkey red, is an Old World dye plant native to S Europe. The herb's long fleshy root was the principal source of various fast, brilliant red dye pigments until artificial production of alizarinalizarin
, or 1,2-dihydroxyanthraquinone, mordant vegetable dye obtained originally from the root of the madder plant (Rubia tinctorum), in which it occurs as a glucoside. The term also includes a group of synthetic dyestuffs prepared from coal-tar derivatives.
..... Click the link for more information. , the color principle of madder. The plant was known to ancient peoples—madder-dyed cloth has been found in Egyptian mummy cases—and was cultivated in the East for centuries and in Europe from the late Middle Ages. Madder and the two major sources of blue pigment, indigo and woad, were the most important dye plants until the development of synthetic aniline dyes in the 19th cent. Gardenias [for Scottish-American naturalist Alexander GardenGarden, Alexander,
c.1730–1791, Scottish-American naturalist and physician, b. Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He settled in Charleston, S.C., where he collected mineral, plant, and animal specimens and discovered new species, including the amphibians known as the congo snake or
..... Click the link for more information. ] are evergreen shrubs and trees (genus Gardenia) of the Old World subtropics. Most of the cultivated types are varieties of G. jasminoides, called also Cape jasmine but unrelated to the true jasmine. The heavily fragrant and showy blossoms make gardenias popular corsage and greenhouse plants. Several native North American wildflowers belong to the madder family. The bedstraws (species of Galium, an almost cosmopolitan weed) were formerly used for mattress filling because of their pleasing odor. The partridgeberry, or squawberry (Mitchella repens), is a small, trailing evergreen plant with scarlet berrylike fruits sometimes used medicinally or for winter decorations. The bluet (Houstonia caerulea) is a favorite spring flower of open woods and grassy meadows in the Northeast. Called also innocence and quaker-ladies, it has a distinctive tiny four-petaled blue flower. Other species of Houstonia, as well as the unrelated cornflower, are also called bluets. Phylogenetically, the madder family is closely related to the honeysuckle family. The madder family is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Rubiales.
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The root of the madder plant (Rubia tinctorium), pulverized and used as source of glucosides to produce alizarin by fermentation. Also known as gamene.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. any of several rubiaceous plants of the genus Rubia, esp the Eurasian R. tinctoria, which has small yellow flowers and a red fleshy root
2. the root of this plant
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005