Gamboge is a partially transparent, reddish yellow pigment.
First used as a colour name in 1634.

Gamboge is an extract from the Gamboge tree; a species of evergreen trees of the famliy Guttiferae (or Clusiaceae) which grow in the eastern part of the world. The resin is extracted after the tree has grown for 10 years.

This extract is responsible for the colour of Buddhist monks' robes, as they use the gum resin as a dye.

The synthetic version of this colour is not very different from its natural counterpart.

Sources:
- http://wordsmith.org/words/gamboge.html
- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamboge
- http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gamboge
- and Wikipedia

Gam*boge" (?), n.

A concrete juice, or gum resin, produced by several species of trees in Siam, Ceylon, and Malabar. It is brought in masses, or cylindrical rolls, from Cambodia, or Cambogia, -- whence its name. The best kind is of a dense, compact texture, and of a beatiful reddish yellow. Taking internally, it is a strong and harsh cathartic ad emetic.

[Written also camboge.]

⇒ There are several kinds of gamboge, but all are derived from species of Garcinia, a genus of trees of the order Guttiferae. The best Siam gamboge is thought to come from Garcinia Hanburii. Ceylon gamboge is from G. Morella. G. pictoria, of Western India, yields gamboge, and also a kind of oil called gamboge butter.

 

© Webster 1913.

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