Friday, 14 June 2013

Khaya senegalensis

Khaya senegalensis is a tree of the Meliaceae family native to tropical and savannah Africa.

It is commonly known as African mahogany, Gambia mahogany, and Senegal mahogany.  The timber of Khaya is called African mahogany, the only timber widely accepted as mahogany besides the true mahogany ( Swietenia mahogany ).

The leaves are pinnate.  Flowers are small, yellowish, loose inflorescences, 4-petals.  Fruit is a capsule with 4 globose, dehiscent.  Seeds winged.

Khaya senegalensis is a fast growing tree, capable to grow up to 30 meters in height within years.  The wood is harvested for carpentry, construction, dugout canoes, etc.  the bitter tasting bark is used as folk medicine for fever, stomach aches, headaches etc.

Although K. senegalensis is widely planted for commercial and landscaping, it is still considered a vulnerable species in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

flower, yellowish in loose inflorescence

fruit capsule, dehiscent  while attached to tree

fruit capsules, dehiscent showing winged seeds inside

winged seeds

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