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Swietenia mahagoni (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Swietenia mahagoni (L.) Jacq.

Protologue: Enum. syst. pl. Carib. 4: 20 (1760).

Vernacular names

  • Small- or narrow-leaved mahogany, West Indian mahogany, Spanish or Cuban mahogany (En).


Native to the West Indian Islands but now very rare due to over-exploitation. Planted throughout the tropics in reforestation projects and plantations, for instance in Java and the Philippines and occasionally in gardens in Peninsular Malaysia.


The timber is regarded as the best quality mahogany.


  • A small to medium-sized tree up to 30 m tall, bole often short and much-branched, buttresses short and blunt.
  • Leaves with 2-4(-5) pairs of leaflets of (4-)5-6(-8) cm × (1.5-)2.5-3.3 cm, on young trees sometimes larger; inflorescence (5-)8-15(-18) cm long.
  • Flowers with glabrous sepals and petals.
  • Capsule (4.5-)6-10 cm long.
  • Seed 2-6 cm long.

Plantation-grown wood is usually somewhat less dense than that from trees of the forest and weighs 560-740(-850) kg/m3 at 15% moisture content. See also the table on wood properties.

Selected sources

13, 35, 153, 233, 434, 439, 461, 520, 539, 653, 654, 665.

Main genus page


  • M.S.M. Sosef (selection of species)