quassia

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quassia

(kwŏsh`ə), name for several tropical trees and for a bitter extract from their bark. The extract containing complex terpenoid compounds called quassinoids is used medicinally as a bitter tonic and a pinworm remedy; it is also used in insecticides, e.g., in flypaper and against aphids. Surinam quassia comes from the tree Quassia amara of N Brazil and surrounding regions; Jamaica quassia comes from Picrasma excelsa of the West Indies. Some Old World quassia species are similarly used. The trees are related to the ailanthus. Quassia 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).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Simaroubaceae.

quassia

1. the bark and wood of Quassia amara and of a related tree, Picrasma excelsa, used in furniture making
2. a bitter compound extracted from this bark and wood, formerly used as a tonic and anthelmintic, now used in insecticides
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