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Fuchsine or rosaniline hydrochloride is a magenta dye with chemical formula C20H19N3·HCl.[1][2] There are other similar chemical formulations of products sold as fuchsine, and several dozen other synonyms of this molecule.[1]

It becomes magenta when dissolved in water; as a solid, it forms dark green crystals. As well as dying textiles, fuchsine is used to stain bacteria and sometimes as a disinfectant.


Fuchsine, named by its original manufacturer Renard frères et Franc,[3] is usually cited with one of two etymologies: from the color of the flowers of the plant genus Fuchsia,[4] named in honor of botanist Leonhart Fuchs, or as the German translation Fuchs of the French name Renard, which means fox.[5] An 1861 article in Répertoire de Pharmacie said that the name was chosen for both reasons.[6]

Acid fuchsine

Acid fuchsine is a mixture of homologues of basic fuchsin, modified by addition of sulfonic groups. While this yields twelve possible isomers, all of them are satisfactory despite slight differences in their properties.

Basic fuchsine

Basic fuchsine is a mixture of rosanilin, pararosanilin, and Magenta II. Formulations usable for making of Schiff reagent must have high content of pararosanilin. The actual composition of basic fuchsine tends to somewhat vary by vendor and batch, making the batches differently suitable for different purposes.

In solution with phenol as an accentuator it is called carbol fuchsin and is used for the staining of the bacterium which cause tuberculosis.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Basic chemical data". Discovery Series online database, Developmental Therapeutics Program, U.S. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on 2007-10-08.
  2. Goyal, S.K. "Use of rosaniline hydrochloride dye for atmospheric SO2 determination and method sensitivity analysis". Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 3, 666-670, DOI: 10.1039/b106209n. Retrieved on 2007-10-08.
  3. Béchamp, M. A. (January-June 1860.) "Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des sciences. 1860. (T. 50)." French Academy of Sciences, Mallet-Bachelier: Paris, tome 50, page 861. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  4. (2004.) "Fuchsin." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, via dictionary.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-20
  5. "Fuchsine." (Website.) ARTFL Project: 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. Retrieved on 2007-09-25
  6. Chevreul, M. E. (July 1860). "Note sur les étoffes de soie teintes avec la fuchsine, et réflexions sur le commerce des étoffes de couleur." Répertoire de Pharmacie, tome XVII, p. 62. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.


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