Tuesday, March 19, 2019
The Natural History of Mahogany :: Botany
The graphic History of reddish brownSwietenia macrophylla and S. humilis are referred to as Mahogany, a tropical evergreen plant or deciduous tree that can attain heights of cl feet. Mahogany is a member of the Meliaceae, which includes other trees with notable wood for footlocker making. Swietenia macrophylla is world renowned for its beautifully grained, hard, red-brown wood. It has been harvested since 1500 A.D. for its wood, with large branches being in gameyer(prenominal) demand than the trunk. This is due to the closeness of the grain in the branchs wood. Mahogany is apply for furniture, fixtures, musical instruments, millwork, cars, ships, boats, caskets, airplanes, foundry patterns, veneer, and plywood (Hill, 1952). In Costa Rica, the only tribe of Mahogany exists in the Guanacaste-Puntarenas region where the tropical dry forests occur. Both of the species ranges crossway in this region, with Bigleaf Mahogany, S. macrophylla, extending from the Bolivian Amazon up the A tlantic and Gulf swoop to Mexico, while Pacific Coast Mahogany, S. humilis, ranges from Mexico down the Pacific Coast to 9 degrees N in Costa Rica. The two species defy taxonomy and interbreed to practice a hybrid. The hybrid grows quicker than either parent species, has intermediate characteristics, and high quality wood (Everett, 1982). Mahogany is never very abundant, even in undisturbed forests, with a density of only one tree per hectare. This, on with the destruction of tropical forests has added to the growing scarcity of Mahogany. The normal habitat of S. macrophylla and S. humilis is low-lying tropical or subtropical forest, with average annual rainfall totals betwixt 1 and 2.5 meters. If the tree is in tropical moist or squiffy forests, it allow lose its leaves briefly. However, in tropical dry forests, such as Guanacaste, the tree will be leafless for a few months. Mahogany has pinnately-compound leaves composed of 4 to 6, ovate-acuminate leaflets. The leaf is ofte n without a terminal leaflet. The verbalize has vertical scales, giving it the appearance of Silver Maple or White oak bark. The bangs are imperfect, with greater numbers of male than female flowers. Each flower is small, yellow-white, and borne in a panicle at the end of the dry season. The fruits of the Mahogany will ripen during January-March in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. They are 4 to 6 inch woody capsules which contain up to 40 wind-dispersed seeds, similar to those of an ash tree.