Swietenia mahagoni

Swietenia mahagoni (L.) Jacq.

Common Names: Mahogany, Madiera

Habit: Swietenia mahagoni is a medium to large size tree up to 15 meters in height.  The bark is smooth in young specimens darkening and becoming furrowed with age.  The leaves are pinnately compound and arranged alternately.  The leaflets are up to 8 cm long with an unequal leaflet base.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicles.  The calyx and corolla each have 5 lobes.  There are 10 stamens.  The fruit is a fleshy capsule the size of an avocado that breaks apart to release winged seeds.

Habitat: Swietenia mahagoni occurs in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations (coppice) and Pine Woodlands. Typically on a limestone substrate

Distribution: Swietenia mahagoni occurs through the islands of the Lucayan Archipelago.  It also occurs in Florida the Caribbean and Central America.  It is commonly cultivated around the world as an ornamental in tropical and subtropical locations.

Medicinal/Economic/Cultural usage: Swietenia mahagoni is used in a variety of treatments for disease.  It is used in strengthening and aphrodisiac teas.  Also it is used to treat dermatological issues and pain.  Additionally it is used to help in obstetrical and gynecological problems.

It is part of the horticultural trade and prized for its fine quality wood for carvings.