Swietenia febrifuga Roxb.
Common Name: Indian Red Wood
Indian red wood is a large, semi-deciduous tree growing up to 30 metres tall[
The tree yields a valuable timber and is also used locally as a source of fibre, dyes, gum and medicines.
E. Asia - India.
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A plant of dry to moist, mainly lowland areas in the tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 900 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 32 - 40°c, though it can tolerate 10 - 47°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 800 - 1,300mm, tolerating 600 - 1,500mm, growing in areas with a distinct dry season[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in most well-drained soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, but tolerates 4.5 - 7.8[
The deep red bark is very astringent and bitter[
]. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery, and is also often used as a febrifuge instead of quinine (Cinchona spp.) by local people[
]. It is said to be an efficient remedy for the dangerous jungle fever of India, when quinine produces no effect. It has also been employed successfully against typhus fever and has proven to be effective in treating bad cases of gangrene[
A strong, red fibre is obtained from the bark[
]. It is made into ropes[
The bark is a source of tannins[46. 146,
A beautiful clear gum is obtained from the bark in large pieces[
]. It affords a good mucilage[
The heartwood is a very dark red-brown, the sapwood is thin and whitish[
]. The wood is close-grained; extremely hard; very durable[
]. It is somewhat cross-grained, making it difficult to plane[
]. It is suitable for house building, furniture, pestles, grain mills, carving etc[
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