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Mexican caesalpinia or Tabachín del monte is in the genus Caesalpinia. Common names include Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Red Bird of Paradise, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin. Native to tropical America, Mexican caesalpinia is a shrub growing to 3 metres tall. The leaves are bipinnate, 20-40cm long, bearing 3-10 pairs of pinnae, each with 6 -10 pairs of leaflets. The flowers are borne in racemes up to 20cm long, each flower with five yellow, orange or red petals.


People of the Amazon Rainforest have long used Caesalpinia pulcherrima for medicinal purposes and call it Ayoowiri. The juice from the leaves is said to cure fever, the juice from the flower to cure sores and the seeds to cure bad breath, coughs, breathing difficulty and chest pain.

Organic mexican caesalpinia dye

  • In Mexico, this orange-red wood, to which medicinal properties are attributed, is considered by some similar to Brazilwood, (Haematoxylon brasiletto). It is however not related to Brazilwood, which is from the same family as Campeche Wood / Logwood. Mexican caesalpinia belongs to the Caesalpinia family and is known as Tabachín del Monte (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). Commonly found in the wild it is also a popular cultivated plant, appreciated for its beautiful clusters of red flowers and fragrant aroma.

  • Botanical name: Caesalpinia pulcherrima

    Common names: Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Red Bird of Paradise, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Dwarf Poinciana, Pride of Barbados, and flamboyan-de-jardin

    Primary dyestuff: Bark

    Class of dye: Adjective dye and tannin – mordant recommended

    Light and wash-fastness: Fast to washing but somewhat fugitive to light. It is important to mordant protein fabrics. It can be used as a tannin for cellulose fabrics.

    Colour: From red, plums, mango yellow to purple.

    pH sensitivity: Acidic water or acidic modifiers produce orange shades and alkaline solutions yield rich plum colours

    Dye bath method: Same as that used for brazilwood or logwood and suitable for a hot dyeing. The dye is a strong and one batch of wood chips can be used multiple times for lighter colours. Chips can be redried for future use.

    Recommended quantity of dye:

    3% WOF powder

    30% WOF chips


    Swatch: Organic linen, habotai silk, peace silk, bamboo silk, cotton-silk, and bamboo jersey. Samples dip dyed into modified pH solutions for 5 mins. Colours achieved for reference only and we encourage you to experiment further.

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