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Maclura tinctoria - (L.) D.Don ex Steud.

Common Name Fustic Tree
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Moist or usually dry thickets or forest in the tierra caliente, common in the plains and lowlands of Guatemala[331 ]. Found in a wide range of forest formations in Brazil, especially in secondary growth[419 ].
Range S. America - Argentina, Paraguay north to the Caribbean and through Central America to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Maclura tinctoria Fustic Tree
Maclura tinctoria Fustic Tree


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Fustic Tree or Maclura tinctoria is a yellow dye producing tree that can be found in South America. The yellow dye, known as fustic, is used for coloring khaki fabric for military apparels. The tree usually grows about 15 - 30 m tall with a dense and spreading crown. The bole is straight and cylindrical, and can be up to 60 cm in diameter. The leaves are oval and with teeth along the edge. The fruit has a sweet, succulent pulp that can be eaten raw. The bark is astringent, tonic, and vermifuge. The wood is hard, heavy, strong, tough, and durable. The plant is grown from seed.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Maclura tinctoria is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Broussonetia plumerii Spreng. Broussonetia tinctoria (L.) Kunth Broussonetia zanthoxylon (L.) Mart.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[331 ]. A succulent, sweet tasting pulp[416 , 419 ]. The fruit is about 2cm in diameter[416 ].


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The bark is astringent, tonic and vermifuge, in large doses it is purgative[46 , 348 ].


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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: A natural pioneer plant in its native range, and supplying food, medicines and commodities, this species should be a good choice as a pioneer for establishing a woodland garden, although its growth rate is only moderate[K ]. Other Uses The wood is valued as a source of dyes[331 ]. The colouring principle, maclurin, gives a yellowish brown or khaki colour much used for military uniforms[331 ]. With other dyes it gives various colours for cotton and silk materials, and also a permanent black[331 ]. All parts of the plant exude a yellow latex when wounded[419 ]. The heartwood is of various shades of yellow to light green, lustrous, becoming reddish or brownish on exposure; it is clearly demarcated from the white sapwood. The texture is usually fine; the grain variable, often interlocked; luster is high; odour and taste are lacking or not distinctive. The wood is hard, heavy, tough, strong, and durable with a fairly straight or somewhat interwoven close grain. It is not very difficult to work, finishes smoothly, and takes a good polish. It is sometimes used in regions where it is plentiful for interior finish, cart wheels, furniture and other purposes[46 , 316 , 331 , 551 ].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

Requires a sunny position[419 ]. Prefers a moist soil[419 ]. Succeeds in most soils[200 ]. Young plants have a moderate rate of growth[419 ]. A dioecious tree, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[551 ].


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Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A low germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 10 - 20 days[419 ]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood[200 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Fustic Tree, Amarillo, Ishuk, Macano, Mora, Mora grande, Moro, Sota, Tatajuba, Tata yegua, Tsejenet,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Brazil; Bolivia, Plurinational State of; Mexico; Guatemala; Honduras; Belize; El Salvador; Nicaragua; Costa Rica; Panama?; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru; Argentina; Paraguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Guyana; Suriname; French Guiana; Cayman Islands; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Haiti; Jamaica; Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Barbados; Grenada; Martinique; Saint Lucia; Trinidad and Tobago; Curaçao, Africa, Antilles, Argentina, Belize, Central America, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guiana, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, North America, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Sierra Leone, South America, Suriname, Venezuela, West Africa, West Indies,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Maclura cochinchinensisCockspur Thorn, Thorny CockspurShrub10.0 10-12 SLMHN 224
Maclura pomiferaOsage Orange, Bois D'ArcTree15.0 4-9 MLMHNDM12 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(L.) D.Don ex Steud.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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