Genuine Mahogany

Botanical Name

Swietenia Macrophylla

Other Common Names

Honduras Mahogany, Acajou, Caoba.


Southern Mexico southward to Colombia, Venezuela, and parts Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Plantations have been established within its natural range and elsewhere.

The Tree

Sometimes 150 ft in height and 6 ft and more in diameter above the heavy buttresses; boles are clear from 60 to 80 ft.


Heartwood reddish, pinkish, salmon colored, or yellowish when fresh; deepening with age to deep rich red or brown; distinct from the yellowish or whitish sapwood.


Has medium to large sized pores, and a medium texture. Grain can be straight, interlocked, irregular or wavy. Mahogany also exhibits an optical phenomenon known as chatoyancy.

Working Properties

Typically very easy to work with tools: machines well. (With exception to sections with figured grain, which can tearout or chip during machining.) Slight dulling of cutters can occur. Sands very easily. Turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.


Fine furniture and cabinet making, interior trim, paneling, fancy veneers, musical instruments, boat building, pattern making, turnery, and carving.


Honduras mahogany is reported to be readily available at moderate prices at present, but its continued availability is of some concern because of high demand.