Desert Poplar (Populus pruinosa) LC

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[[|thumb|Desert Polar tree (Populus pruinosa)]]


Desert Poplar, 灰胡杨, (Populus pruinosa)is a medium-sized deciduous tree. The tree grows up to 10 to 20 m tall. The bark has grayish yellow color. It naturally grows in Central and Southwestern Asia. [1]

Historical importance

Populus pruinosa might be the dyeing source of yellow colorants from archaeological samples excavated from Xinjiang.


Summary of results

Multiple flavonoids, luteolin, apigenin, chrysoeriol and their glycosides were identified from desert poplar dyed wool samples.

Analytical instrumentation and procedures

The dye was extracted from a thread (0.2-1mg) of the dyed fiber in a solution of pyridine/water/1.0M oxalic acid as described by Mouri and Laursen [2]. The solution was evaporated to dryness under a nitrogen flow, and redissolved in 50 μL MeOH/H2O (1/1); subsequently, 20 μL of dye solution was injected onto HPLC column.

An extract was analyzed on an HPLC-PDA-MS system consisting of a Shimadzu LC-20A high performance liquid chromatography, a Shimadzu SPD-M20A photodiode array detector and a Thermo LTQ XL ion trap mass spectrometer. The separation was performed on a Shim-pack XR-ODS column (3.0 mm × 75 mm, 2.2-μm particle size) and a Phenomenex Luna C18 column (2.0 mm × 150 mm, 3-μm particle size). Columns were eluted with acetonitrile-water gradients containing 0.1% formic acid at a flow rate of 0.3 mL/min.


Extract of P. Pruinosa dyed textile, Absorbance at 350nm (mAU) by Jian Liu, China National Silk Museum

Compounds identified

Compounds identified, By Jian Liu, China National Silk Museum

Identified compounds

Luteolin UV-Vis


Apigenin UV-Vis


Compound RT (min.) MW UV/vis Other
Luteolin 17.9 286 348
Apigenin 19.7 270 338


[1] Flora of China, Populus pruinosa

[2] Mouri C, Laursen R. Identification and partial characterization of C-glycosylfalvone markers in Asian plant dyes using liquid chromatogrphy tandem mass spectrometery. Journal of Chromatography A 2011; 1218: 7325-30.