Latin name: Meliaceae
Number of species: about 1500 species
circulation area: worldwide
fruit: depending on the mahogany type
heyday: March - June
height: 10 - 60m
Properties of the bark: reddish brown
Properties of the wood: easy to work, resistant to fungi
Locations of the tree: sunny or partially shaded
leaf: tapering elliptical, 10-15cm long
Interesting about the mahogany tree
mahogany refers to a family of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that grow worldwide, mainly in the tropics. The most important representatives of these genera are the American, Indian and the African mahogany.
American or genuine mahogany, also known under the botanical name Swietenia acrophylla, is the most prevalent species of these trees. It is known above all as an important supplier of precious timber used in the manufacture of instruments, fine furniture, boats, airplanes and other wood products. Genuine mahogany is native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. This deciduous tree reaches stature heights of up to a maximum of sixty meters, with most specimens are about forty feet high. At a young age, the real mahogany is evergreen, only at an advanced age, it develops into a deciduous tree. The trunk has a diameter of about three meters and shows up to 20 meters long, completely knot-free sections that are interesting for timber extraction. The bark gradually turns black as the tree ages, and the bark turns pink or reddish-brown in color. The leaves are arranged alternately and are composed of several pairs of pinnacles. The individual leaflets are elliptical or lanceolate in shape and average ten to fifteen inches long. Mahogany trees grow extremely slowly and only start to bloom from the age of ten to fifteen years. The approximately twenty centimeters long Blütenrispen are white and are composed of five sepals and five petals together. Only after several months does a single brown-brown capsule fruit develop from the flower. After the seeds have been released from the wind, they remain stuck to the branches for a while.
Depending on which rainforest area the wood of the genuine mahogany originates, a distinction is made between several trade names such as the Amazon mahogany, the Orura, the Mara or the Tabasco mahogany. The mahogany trees are always scattered in river valleys, which is why many other trees have to be cut to transport the felled tree on wooden trenches. The resulting large-scale destruction of rainforests for mahogany extraction is associated with the threat to the habitat of many animal species and has been the subject of numerous environmental protection initiatives for decades.