Erythrina cf fusca

Orden: Order: Fabales

Familia: Family: Fabaceae

Género: Genus: Erythrina

Especie: Species: Fusca

Nombres comunes: Common names: Amaciza, bucayo, gallito, helequeme

Parte de la planta que se usa para el pigmento: Part of the plant used for pigment: Leaf

Color: Green

* La incertidumbre en la asignación del nombre, expresada en la abreviación «cf.» del latín confertus, o «por confirmar», se debe a que las características de los árboles con las que hemos trabajado en este proyecto no corresponden en su totalidad con las de Erythrina fusca, y, sin embargo, es la especie a la que más se asemeja, y de la que se ha registrado más comúnmente el nombre amacizo. Una identificación más exacta será posible cuando contemos con flores o frutos, lo cual no ha sido posible hasta ahora.

Amacizo pigment on paper.

Amacizo pigment on paper. 102 x 68 cm

Herbarium. Dried Amacizo leaves, sewn on rice paper.
77 x 57 cm. 2013.

Monotype on rice paper made from the dried Amacizo leaves.
100 x 65 cm. 2013.



Amacizo. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Descripción general

General Description

A tree that can reach thirty meters in height. Typically branches close to the ground, forming a low, leafy crown; the trunk may have small or large spines. The leaves are divided into three leaflets that are ovate in shape, that is to say, wider at the base, but which can be slightly elongated or oblong. These leaflets are between 7 and 14 cm long, with a tip that is generally rounded and whitish, with a few tiny hairs that are lost with age, which contrasts with the dark green of the upper part. The flowers are bright orange and are grouped in clusters at the end of the branches, and the fruits are legumes, like beans, up to 30 cm long. The seeds are a speckled brown.

Amacizo leaves.

Amacizo. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Distribución geográfica
e historia natural

Geographic Distribution
and Natural History

This species grows in all tropical areas of America, from sea level to approximately 1,100 meters above sea level. In Colombia it has been recorded in all natural regions, and grows in both dry and flooded areas. The seeds float in water, and can be dispersed that way; in fact, the preferred habitat of this species is the margins of rivers, lakes and swamps, where it becomes an important component of the vegetation. In some areasof the Pantanal wetland biome in Brazil, this is the dominant species, which is partly explained by the presence of secondary metabolites that prevent or reduce the growth of competing species around it.   In the Peruvian Amazon it flowers from July to August, and bears fruit from August to September. In Panama it flowers from December to May, and bears fruit from March to May; there, many birds have been identified that are attracted by the nectar of its flowers, especially species of orioles that migrate from the north. In the Colombian Amazon, twenty-two different species of birds have been observed visiting the flowers of this species, several of which act as pollinators, and in Brazil, twenty species were observed visiting it, some of them consuming the flowers. The flowers only open with the help of birds and it is one of the few species in which pollination by parrots has been reported. It is propagated by seeds, but this may also be achieved by cuttings.   In Colombia it is known as búcaro, cantagallo, cachimbo, amacise, amasisa, chengue, chengué, chambul, chocha, palo de agua, pito, zapato de reina, búcaro de pantano, cantagallo colorado, cachingo, cámbulo rosado, and pizamo. In Venezuela it is known as bucare anauco, reinoso, oparu, ubaru; and in Peru it is called gachico.

Amacizo during the maceration process. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.



Although infrequently used as an ornamental, it is occasionally employed as coffee shade or as a living fence. Where it is used in this way in some regions of Colombia thanks to its abundant foliage, studies have been carried out into its value as a supplementary cattle feed; however, treatment is recommended to denature the tannins which are abundant in leaves and reduce the availability of nutrients.   The alkaloids ertrahlina and erythramina, similar to curare, have been obtained from this species. The antimalarial effect of some flavonoids extracted from its bark has also been demonstrated.



The amacizo produces a green pigment, which is obtained by macerating its leaves. This ink adheres to paper best, creating a strong and intense coloring. On cotton a pale green is obtained, while it does not adhere properly onto fique. It does not require exposure to fire to properly set.

Macerating the amacizo leaves.

Extracción + teñido

Extraction + dyeing