Selected Trees and Shrubs
Tectona grandis, Common name: Teak
Plant 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.
Uses: One of the most important commercial timbers of the tropics; very attractive wood, used in high value, fine furniture, and for home, office and boat paneling; timber also valued for ship-building, railway ties, dock piles and other light and heavy construction; young leaves and bark of root yield yellowish-brown dye; also used as ornamental for its large, attractive leaves;medicinally, all plant parts used in India, including powdered wood used as a laxative and in treatment of hemorrhoids; flowers used for bronchitis.
Henny Rachmawati et. al. Tectona grandis. Danida Forest Seed Center, Humlebaek, Denmark 2002 (dfsc.dk)
Dan H. Nicolson. Flora of Dominica, Part 2: Dicotyledoneae. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 1991
Pankaj Oudhia. Sagon (Tectona grandis Linn.). Society for Parthenium Management, Raipur, India 2004 (hort.purdue.edu)
H.F. Macmillan. Tropical Planting and Gardening. Macmillan, London 1956
Gerald Carr. Flowering Plant Families. Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2004 (botany.hawaii.edu)
Robert A. DeFilipps. Useful Plants of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 1998
Preface - How it Began
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A Brief History
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Trees, Shrubs, Birds:
Selected Trees and Shrubs
Florida's Fairchild Garden
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