Mahogany Facts

Mahogany Facts
Mahogany is deciduous tree that belongs to the chinaberry family. There are three species of mahogany that can be found in Mexico and in the Central and South America. Mahogany grows in wet and dry tropical forests, from the sea level to the altitude of 4.600 feet. It prefers rich, well-drained soils and areas near the river. Increased demand for mahogany in the previous centuries led to drastic decline in the number of mahogany in the wild. These plants are listed as vulnerable, which mean that they can become endangered in the near future.
Interesting Mahogany Facts:
Mahogany can reach 150 to 200 feet in height and 6 feet in diameter (trunk). It develops large, broad crown.
Mahogany has dark brown, sweet-scented bark with flaky surface.
Mahogany develops large pinnate leaves that consist of 3 to 6 pairs of leaflets. They are oval-shaped with pointed tips. Terminal leaflet is always absent. Leaves can reach up to 20 inches in length. Mahogany is also known as big-leaf mahogany due to oversized leaves.
Mahogany can be deciduous or semi-evergreen. Tree is covered with leaves nearly all the time (as soon as old leaves are discarded, new leaves start to grow).
Mahogany produces small, fragrant, white or yellow-green flowers arranged in loose clusters. It produces individual male and female flowers on the same tree (monoecious plant). Stamens in the male flowers are fused and shaped like tube.
Mahogany blooms from April to June. It attracts moths and small bees that are responsible for the pollination of flowers.
Fruit of mahogany is large, pear-shaped capsule. It is grey or brown colored and filled with up to 71 seed. Fruit ripens usually from January to March.
Ripe capsule splits into 5 parts to release seed. Each seed is equipped with wings that facilitate dispersal by wind. Seed do not stay viable long period of time (they are able to germinate only during the first rainy season).
Fruit of big-leaf mahogany is also known as "sky-fruit" due to orientation of capsules toward the sky.
Mahogany has strong root system which stabilizes the soil and prevents erosion.
Mahogany is harvested because of its wood that can be yellow, salmon-colored, red, pink or brown color. Color of the mature wood is always reddish-brown.
Wood of mahogany tree is prized because of its fine texture and beautiful color. Mahogany is often used for the manufacture of furniture, music instruments, cabinets and for the interior work.
Commercially available mahogany is cultivated on the plantations in Asia (mostly in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Fiji). Wild species of mahogany are protected by law and they cannot be harvested anymore.
Fruit of mahogany can be used to improve blood circulation.
Mahogany is slow-growing tree that can survive 350 years in the wild.


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