Strausbaugh, Perry D. Formerly, Department of Botany, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Core, Earl L. Formerly, Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The deciduous plant Toxicodendron vernicifluum (previously known as Rhus vernicifera), also called lacquer tree, a member of the sumac family (Anacardiaceae). The varnish tree, which can reach a height of 40–60 ft (12–18 m), is a native of China, but it has long been cultivated in Japan (where it is called the urushi tree). When the bark is cut (see illustration), it exudes a milky juice (sap) that darkens and thickens on exposure. This exudate, which can cause skin irritation, has been used as a lacquer in China and Japan for thousands of years. When properly applied, the thin transparent film becomes a varnish of extreme hardness. Lacquer is a remarkably protective coating because it is not altered by acids, alkalies, alcohol, or heat up to 160°F (71°C). Nutgalls (nut-shaped galls, which are a source of tannic acid), iron in solution, and gold or other metals are mixed with the exudate before drying to make the various kinds of lacquers. The process of lacquering is technical and tedious; in some cases, 300–400 coats are required, and it may take several years to complete the finish of one item. See also: Lacquer; Sapindales; Varnish
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 39 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information