African Mahogany - Khaya senegalensis
Khaya senegalensis is a high value hardwood tree, versatile, and a native of Africa.
Commonly known as African mahogany, it is a truely beautiful tree with unique spiral clusters of leaves at the ends of the branches and sweet scented flowers.
Uses for Khaya senegalensis
Apart from making a fabulous feature, shade tree or roadside ornamental, Khaya wood is highly prized for its beautiful heartwood which is brown with pinky red pigment and course grains. It is the hardest of the African mahoganies. Fast growing and able to reach 15-30m with a large diameter trunk, this tree has been recognised for its potential in plantations and regeneration. It has been widely exploited in the past and overseas and has been listed as vulnerable.
Oleoresin in the bark makes the tree very resistant to insect and fungal attack and the bark is used in tanning. Bark scales are sometimes used as a fish poison! The seeds have a high oil content and are rich in oleic acid. The oil is used in West Africa for cooking.
The bitter tasting bark is utilised in traditional medicine, for illnesses such as malaria, headaches and stomach complaints and topically for skin ailments.
Growing African mahogany
Drought and flood tolerant, this tree is very adaptable and will grow well in a variety of soil types. Rich, neutral sandy loam which is free draining is prefered and it will develop a deep root system within a year which makes it extremely drought hardy.
However, it is very adaptable and also tolerant of swampy soils and is worth planting in these areas.
Khaya senegalensis trees for sale:
Available now: Beautiful young trees approx 25-30 cm tall, ready for planting.
Photo of Tree courtesy: By Sezimropkora (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Leaves courtesy: By Forestowlet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons