Much sought after timber Mahogany belongs to Meliaceae family. Botanical name is Swietenia macrophylla and common name is Large-leaved Mahogany. The other species of Mahogany are Swietenia mahagoni and Swietenia humilis. Native of West Indies and South America, it is now widely grown in India and Fiji.
Mahogany trees grow up to 45 meters with a 2 meter diameter. The leaves are green, deciduous with 3 to 6 pairs of leaflets.
The flowers are small, white to greenish-yellow petals with a strong fragrance. They bloom during summer.
Fruit is a pear shaped five valve capsules that grow up to 20 cm long. The capsule contains many winged seeds that are 5 to 9 cm long. The fruit is the most striking part of the plant.
Many roads in Bangalore especially in Jaynagar and Inner Ring Road, BTM layout are lined with Mahogany trees.
Mahogany is the most preferred wood for furniture. It is also used to build musical instruments like acoustic guitars, drums, and so on.
Mahogany tree can be propagated through seeds.