Mahogany

From Academic Kids

Mahogany
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Sapindales
Family:Meliaceae
Genera and Species
  • Entandophragma
    • E. utile - Utile or African Mahogany
  • Guarea
    • G. cedrata - Pink Mahogany
  • Khaya
    • K. ivoriensis - Ivory Coast Mahogany
    • K. senegalensis - Senegal Mahogany
  • Swietenia
    • S. humilis
    • S. macrophylla - Honduras Mahogany
    • S. mahagoni - West Indian Mahogany
  • Toona
    • T. ciliata - Indian Mahogany
    • T. sinensis - Chinese Mahogany
For other uses, see Mahogany (disambiguation).

The name Mahogany was first used in the New World for three trees of the genus Swietenia, namely S. mahagoni (West Indian Mahogany) from the Caribbean and S. macrophylla (Honduras Mahogany) from Central and South America and S. humilis from the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America, and also subsequently in the Old World for similar timbers from several related trees, including species from the African genera Entandophragma, Guarea and Khaya, and the Asian genus Toona. These hardwood trees all belong to the mahogany family Meliaceae.

All these types of mahogany are used to make furniture because they are easy to work, resist the attack of dry-wood termites, and have a beautiful reddish sheen when polished. The timber is water-resistant, and for this reason it was used in the past for ship building. There is a "famous" ship called the 'Mahogany ship' rumored to be buried in the dunes near Warrnambool, Victoria.

In North America, Lauan is often sold as "Mahogany or "Philippine Mahogany". It is not a true mahogany as it comes from a completely unrelated tree. This wood is considerably coarser and does not work anywhere near as well as true mahoganies.

Trade Regulation

The trade of several species of Mahogany is regulated by the voluntary Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as the logging of the trees is deemed destructive to the rainforest ecology. S. humilis, listed in 1973 was the first hardwood tree of commerical significance to be listed. Parties to the Convention, which includes most countries, are prohibited from legally importing the wood. However, the export of Mahogany, often illegally, continues, as the wood is highly valued.

International environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Rainforest Action Network have campaigned to expose illegal traffic in the wood, as well as to strengthen international regulations.de:Swietenia eo:mahagono es:Caoba fr:Acajou

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