Big leaf Mahogany (മഹാഗണി)

Scientific Name: Swietenia macrophylla King

Synonyms: Swietenia belizensis Lundell, Swietenia candollei Pittier

Unique ID: 130

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class: Polypetalae                    

Series: Disciflorae

Order: Geraniales

Family: Meliaceae

Common Names

English – Big leaf Mahogany

Malayalam – മഹാഗണി

Tamil –  Theankani

Hindi – Mahagony



Description: Swietenia macrophylla is a very large tree, reaching a height of 30-40 m and a girth of 3-4 m; in favourable conditions it can reach 60 m high and 9 m girth. Trunk straight, cylindrical, with a buttressed base; bark rough, flaking off in small patches. Leaves paripinnate, up to 60 cm long; leaflets 6-16, ovate, lanceolate, acuminate, slightly oblique, light green or reddish when young, dark green and shining when mature, up to 20 cm long, with 8-12 pale, secondary nerves. Flowers 8 mm across, in narrow supra-axillary panicles about 8-13 cm long and fragrant; petals greenish-white, oblong, 4 mm long, rigidly pointed. Fruit a woody capsule resembling a large inverted club, about 12.5 x 7.5 cm, erect. Flowering and fruiting are distinctly seasonal.


Habitat:  S. macrophylla is found in all forest types, from the edge of the pine savannah to the climax rainforest, but mostly in mixed hardwood forest belts, along riverbanks, on deep alluvial soils


Distribution: native to Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela

Uses:  Timber; gum,resin,tannin,dye stuff, lipids and medicine