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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11 | Meliaceae | Swietenia

1. Swietenia mahagoni (Linnaeus) Jacquin, Enum. Syst. Pl. 20. 1760.

桃花心木 tao hua xin mu

Cedrela mahagoni Linnaeus, Syst. Nat., ed. 10, 2: 940. 1759.

Trees to 25 m tall, to 4 m d.b.h., base buttressed. Bark slightly red, scalelike. Branches gray, expanding, smooth. Leaves alternate, ca. 35 cm; petiole 3-6 mm, thin, glabrous, base slightly swelling; leaflets 8-12; leaflet blades ovate to lanceolate, 10-16 × 4-6 cm, leathery, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, abaxially light green, adaxially dark green, secondary veins 10 on each side of midvein, base oblique, margin entire or with 1 or 2 serrations, apex long acuminate. Thyrses axillary, 6-15 cm, glabrous, with short and lax branchlets. Flowers small. Pedicel ca. 3 mm. Calyx cup-shaped, 5-lobed; lobes short and truncate, apex rounded. Petals greenish white, obovate, 3-4 mm, glabrous. Staminal tube subcylindric, glabrous; anthers 10. Disk annular. Ovary conic to ovoid, longer than disk, with 12 ovules per locule; style longer than ovary, glabrous; stigma disciform. Capsule brown, ovoid, ca. 8 cm in diam., many seeded. Seeds apically winged, ca. 7 cm including wing. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Oct-Nov.

Cultivated. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan [native to tropical America].

The identity of the trees cultivated in China needs to be confirmed as some of them may be Swietenia macrophylla King.

The wood, the original mahogany, is used for fine quality cabinetwork.


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