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TECTONA grandis

Image of Tectona grandis

Forest & Kim Starr

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

TECTONA grandis

Plant Common Name

East Indian Oak, Teak

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

One of the most prized tropical, decay-resistant lumbers, aromatic teak wood is yellow to olive-green when first cut, but curing to a golden brown. Native to lowland, equatorial forests of Southeast Asia, teak develops into a tall, upright tree with an oval habit. The soft bark is deeply grooved and grayish tan, peeling off in strips.

Teak leaves are very large, broad ovals of a rich medium green. One leaf blade may be as long as an arm. They feel like felt or sandpaper, especially on their undersides. In the winter dry season, the tree drops its leaves. During the heat of summer and into the autumn, branch tips produce large, upright and air clusters of tiny white flowers that attract honeybees. A teak tree in full bloom looks like its filled with puffy clouds of white cotton candy floss. The flower calyces surround the light brown, hairy fruit ball that drops along with the leaves in early winter.

Teak prospers in deep, fertile, well-drained soil that is enriched with lots of organic matter. Summertime rains, heat and high humidity contrast the drier, frost-free conditions needed in winter. Full sun is needed for best flowering and tree development. Seedlings are very fast growing, but growth rate moderates as the trees gain height. Grow it as a tall shade or intriguing flowering tree in tropical gardens or parks.

Teak wood is hard, heavy and straight grained, making it among the most desired timbers throughout the world. The darker colored heartwood is used, as the yellowy sapwood is soft and susceptible to termite damage. Teak wood contains silica, causing saw blades to dull.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    90'-165' / 27.4m - 50.3m

  • Width

    40'-60' / 12.2m - 18.3m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes