Meliaceae (mahogany) family

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Meliaceae example (Swietenia macrophylla)

Common Name and Type Genus: Mahogany family, derived from the Melia genus

Distribution: Primarily found in tropical regions worldwide

Family Size: Just over 50 genera and about 700 species

Notable Genera: Swietenia, the source of true mahogany of commerce, is the most well known of the family. Other notable genera include the Africa mahoganies of Khaya, Entandrophragma (yielding sapele and utile), and the hardwood cedars of Cedrela and Toona.

Comments: Although this family derives its name from the Melia genus (containing the species M. azedarach, Chinaberry), that genera is greatly eclipsed by the much more commercially significant Swietenia genus, and the family’s common name reflects this as the mahogany family.

However, aside from the incredibly significant Swietenia genus, this family is still chock-full of other commercial timbers and notable species. Most woods in this family are of moderate weight, with overall good workability and grain appearance.

  Genera listing

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