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August 21, 1967

Underneath The Logwood Tree

Author Affiliations

Bloomington, Hawaii

JAMA. 1967;201(8):639. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130080081028

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To the Editor:—  Rough calculation yields the figure of 6 billion as the number of aitches (H) The Journal has printed as a symbol for the dye hematoxylin in the past 50 years. How many of your intrepid and hardy readers know that this dye is obtained from the logwood tree? And how many can identify a logwood tree on sight?Traveling recently in Jamaica my curiosity was aroused by passing a "Logwood Plantation" which turned out to be a commercial logwood farm.Unknown to the average Yankee, the tree is wholly familiar to the average Jamaican, as a scraggly spiny unkempt nuisance of a tree, good for holding barbed wire when serving as fencepost, with staining of the staple holes by an iron hematoxylin differing only slightly from that of Weigert.The bark shows circumferential stripes (Fig 1), and the tree with its series of small leaves reminds one