Tectona grandis


Family: Belongs to the Verbenaceae family, which includes Blue Petrea (Petrea volubilis) and Bois Lezard (Vitex divaricata). [However, recent phylogenetic studies seem to show that several genera traditionally classified in Verbenaceae belong instead in Lamiaceae. These include Gmelina, Tectona and Vitex. Since the issue does not appear to have been settled, we have stuck with the traditional classification. Click here for more information].

Description: Large, upright, aromatic tree in the Gardens near Elmshall Gate; straight-stemmed, up to 35 m tall (115 ft) in natural habitat; leaves simple, ovate, very large, 25-50 cm long (10-20 in) and 15-30 cm wide (6-12 in), underside hairy; flowers small, 6-8 mm diameter (0.2-0.3 in), white, in large, profusely branching, cymose inflorescences; fruit a hard irregularly rounded, 4-seeded drupe, 10-17 mm in diameter (0.4-0.7 in), with persistent calyx; seeds viable for 3-4 months under natural conditions, and for several years under controlled storage conditions; flowering in rainy season, about a month after rains begin, starting 6-8 yrs after planting.

Natural Habitat: Tropical regions with wet and dry seasons and well drained soil; reportedly, best produced on calcareous soils; propagation by seed.

Origin and Distribution: Native of S.E. Asia where found in Teak forests, and also widely cultivated there; distributed variously in tropics and semi-tropics where cultivated in plantations for timber; grown in the Botanic Gardens as a specimen ornamental, and at the Cabrits in trial plots.

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