gamboge tree


[gam-bohj, -boozh]

Gamboge is a rather transparent dark mustard yellow pigment.

Gamboge is most often extracted by tapping resin from various species of evergreen trees of the family Guttiferae (also known as Clusiaceae), most often of the gamboge tree (genus Garcinia), including G. hamburyi (Cambodia and Thailand), G. morella and G. Cambogia (India and Sri Lanka), and G. elliptica and G. heterandra (Myanmar); the orange fruit of the Garcinia cambogia is also known as gamboge or gambooge.

The trees must be ten years old before they are tapped. The resin is extracted by making spiral incisions in the bark, and by breaking off leaves and shoots and letting the milky yellow resinous gum drip out. The resulting latex is collected in hollow bamboo canes. After the resin is congealed, the bamboo is broken away and large rods of raw gamboge remain.

The first recorded use of gamboge as a color name in English was in 1634.

Etymology of gamboge

The word gamboge comes from gambogium, the Latin word for the pigment, which derives from Gambogia, the Latin word for Cambodia.

Gamboge in human culture


  • Gamboge was a local New York City (Brooklyn) Rock Group during May 1965 to April 1970 - members were Gabor Barabas (Lead Singer), Phil Cantor (Lead Guitarist), Martin Cohen (Drums), Paul Wax (Rhythm/Sometimes Guitar), George Reisman (Bass Guitar). Formed in Spring 1965 - broke up in Spring 1970; Gabor Barabas currently semi-retired Pediatric Neurologist in Central NJ, Phil Cantor now living in LA as Lead Guitarist for Moondance, Martin Cohen now living in Arizona, Paul Wax now living in NJ (who was temporarily on hiatus from group due to draft in US Army during January 1968 - September 1969 and rejoined Gamboge in October, 1969), George Reisman last seen living in Staten Island, NY. The Gamboge, managed by Sanford A. Hamilton (real name Sandy Horowitz) had a brief recording contract with Lafelle Records (subsidiary of Roulette Records) - "discovered" while publicly playing in outside benefit concert for US Cancer Association in May 1967 in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Recording contract with Lafell Records dissolved due to Paul Wax being drafted in US Army in January 1968.


  • People with gamboge auras are said to be capable of altruistically directing their faculties toward unselfish purposes.


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