What are the characteristics of the mahogany tree?

Mahogany flowers are yellow

For anyone who has a little knowledge in relation to wood and the quality of this material, knows in advance and superficially that not all plants are good or recommended for doing wood or interior work.

There are some that are more resistant, others more flexible and with unique characteristics. That is why it is a highly demanded material today. But not all plants are as in demand as the mahogany.

General characteristics of Mahogany

The fruit of the mahogany is large

The fruit of the mahogany is large

This tree is characterized by reaching a great height once it has reached its full maturity. It can reach between 20 and 50 meters in height and it is a species of the evergreen class, that is, it is quite durable.

As for the shape of its leaves, these have a pinnate design and are quite soft to the touch. They are arranged in a compound and alternate way. The measurements of these leaves can range from 10 to 30 cm long, depending on the size of the tree and the environmental conditions.

The reason mahogany is used as a building material for boats, furniture and more is because of how straight is its trunk and the firmness of this. But its trunk is not the only thing with great strength, but also its branches.

The flowering of this species occurs between the months of March and June. During this time, you will be able to notice the flowersbut instead, the fruit of the mahogany occurs only in December.

This one looks very similar to the medlarbut unlike this fruit, it is larger and inside the fruit it houses about 55 seeds. The size of this fruit can easily reach 7 cm long.

Mahogany types

It is true: the mahogany tree is not one, but three, which you can see in the images above. All of them are native to the intertropical zone of the American continent:

  • Swietenia macrophyllaKnown as Honduras mahogany, Atlantic mahogany or big leaf mahogany, it grows from Mexico to the south of the Amazon forest in Brazil. Today it is the one that is most cultivated, and it is also the one that many will tell you is the »true mahogany». Illegal logging and the environmental effects derived from it, included it in the list of endangered species in 2003.
  • Sweet mahoganyKnown as Native Mahogany or Cuban Mahogany, it is native to South Florida and the Caribbean. It was the most widely used until World War II.
  • Sweetness is low: known as the Pacific tree, it is native to the dry forest of the Pacific coast of Central America. Some say that it is actually a variety of S. macrophylla, with the difference that it is smaller.


The great thing about mahogany is that it can be planted or spread through its seed. And considering that each fruit has more than 50 seeds insideit is a very practical plant to grow.

The easiest way to start growing mahogany is to take a couple of seeds and place them inside a bag with some soil. The detail is that you must wait until December or the beginning of January to obtain the seeds of the plant.

The collection of the seed should be done whenever the fruit acquires a light brown color, just at the exact moment before they hatch or open. For it the tree must be climbed and the seeds collected directly.

It is recommended that once the seeds have been collected, This is planted 12 meters apart. mahogany plants or any other species. But mainly of the same species. In this way, complications in its growth will be avoided and the probability of suffering attacks by a specific butterfly is reduced.

What care do you need?

The mahogany tree is big

The mahogany tree is big

If you want to have a copy, we recommend that you provide it with the following care:


Tropical warm and the minimum temperature must be 10ºC or higher. That is why its cultivation and growth tend to be better in tropical regions such as those in the North and South America. To be more specific, it does best in areas or territories that are coastal.


It must always be outside, in full sun, and at a distance of at least 6 meters from pipes and other. And, in addition to being large plants over 20 meters high, they need space to grow. In this way you avoid having complications with pipes.


The land has to be fertile and well drained.


Frequently it should be done 4-5 times a week during the hottest season, and every 2-3 days the rest of the year.


By seeds in spring, sowing them directly in the nursery with universal cultivation substrate.


Mahogany is widely used for its wood

Mahogany is widely used for its wood

As you will be imagining so far and for everything you have read, mahogany has important uses worldwide. Its main use is for the manufacture of furniture and works focused on cabinetmaking.

In the same way, it is also an effective wood or plant for the manufacture of small and medium size boats. There are even those who use mahogany to make musical instruments made entirely of wood or with parts of it.

As for mahogany seeds, it has a particular use, since it allows you to take them and prepare a kind of tea or infusion that is effective for dealing with chest pains. In addition, the bark of mahogany is used to dye leather and fabrics.

In the same way, the ease with which mahogany seeds germinate is so high that this plant is widely used to start a reforestation process if necessary. Of course, for this the conditions have to be specific.

For the rest we can say that it is a beautiful plant that can be used to make natural paths, setting squares, parks and any other natural site that you can think of.

What are the characteristics of the mahogany tree?

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