02. Chinese Mahogany

Chinese Mahogany

Toona sinensis (Juss.)  M.Roen

Native Range: Eastern and south-eastern Asia. From North Korea, China, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia through toWestern Indonesia.

Introduced into parks and gardens in the British Isles in 1862.

  • The fruit, bark and leaves are used in traditional Chinese medicine, with young leaves being used as a salad crop in China.
  • Extracts from the leaves of Toona sinensis have shown potential in the treatment of prostate cancer
  • The timber is used for making the bodies of electric guitars and is used as a substitute for the three Swietenia spp. (True Mahogany); timber is commercially restricted for conservation reasons.
  • The young shoots are cooked as a vegetable.  The leaves, when crushed, produce a scent similar to that of leeks.

Toona sinensis is one of six species of trees in this genus and they can be found growing across Asia and Australia. This species is fairly hardy but slow growing; the tree in front of you is thought to be one of the largest in the United Kingdom, known as a Champion Tree. You can find more information about champion trees of Britain and Ireland at www.treeregister.org/champion-trees.shtml

Kelly, J. (1995) Hillier’s Gardeners Guide to trees and shrubs, David and Charles

Press release UNEP/181 Cites Trade Controls to take effect for Mahogany