According to Kew Species Profiles[KSP]
- General Description
Teak is well known for its high quality timber, and has also been used for traditional medicine in southeast Asia.
Tectona grandis (teak) is a tall tree from southeast Asia and is widely cultivated for its durable wood. It is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), which is perhaps better known for its aromatic members including culinary herbs such as basil, oregano and rosemary.
- Species Profile
Geography and distribution
Tectona grandis has a natural distribution from India to Vietnam and Thailand. It is also found in cultivation throughout the tropics.
Teak is a tree up to 40 m high.
The bark is scaly and the leaves are opposite one another.
The leaves are 6 – 75 cm long, 8 - 45 cm wide, and hairless on the upper surface when mature, with many star-shaped hairs below.
The calyxes (sepals) form a balloon-like shape enveloping the fruit.
The corolla (petals) is regular, and white to cream-coloured.
The fruit is pale yellow, of 1.2 to 2 cm diameter, and covered with star-shaped hairs.
Threats and conservation
Although the species itself is common, the unique teak forests of India, Burma and Thailand are under threat from over-exploitation.
Tectona grandis is the source of a high quality general purpose hardwood known as teak. The timber is used for ship decking, flooring, furniture and construction. It is particularly recommended for construction in seaside environments (such as bridges and docks) because it is resistant to shipworm, a wood-boring sea mollusc ( Teredospp., Teredinidae). Quinones in the sawdust inhibit the growth of several species of the fungi that cause wood rot.Teak is widely cultivated in the tropics; the main producers are Burma, India, Thailand and Indonesia. Like all forests, plantations of teak can act as carbon stores; in Panama, for example, teak plantations sequester carbon dioxide at a rate of 191.1 mg per hectare during a twenty-year rotation. Soil analyses in Costa Rica indicate that teak plantations may improve the soil quality of lands previously under pasture. In Tanzania, wildlife forage is provided by young teak plantations where grass and herbs grow in the understorey.
Teak has traditionally been used in southeast Asia for medicine, commonly for its astringent and diuretic properties and against swelling. Its traditional use for diabetes has been supported by laboratory tests in which extracts of the bark have been shown to lower insulin resistance in mice. The wood has also been said to relieve skin irritations caused by handling cashew nuts ( Anacardium occidentale, Anacardiaceae) and marking nuts ( Semecarpus anacardium, Anacardiaceae).
Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage
Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plant life world wide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in our seed bank vault.
Collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank: OneSeed storage behaviour: Orthodox - the seeds of this plant survive being dried without significantly reducing their viability, and are therefore amenable to long-term frozen storage such as at the MSBComposition values:Oil content 34%
Tectona grandis grows best in a warm, tropical climate with a temperature above 22 ºC. Teak prefers well-drained, fertile soils and is a strong light demander.
Trees are 96 to 100% self-incompatible. The species is hermaphroditic and pollinated by insects, especially bees. Propagation by seed involves pre-treatment to break the dormancy, involving wetting and drying the seed every 12 hours, over a period of two weeks. When seeds are sown in a mix of sand and coir, at 22 to 25ºC, germination will take place within two to four weeks. The germination rate is low, and teak seedlings need shading.
Vegetative propagation can be achieved by grafting and budding. Tissue cultures have also been developed for the propagation of teak.
- India, Thailand, Vietnam
- This species naturally occurs in deciduous forests, but is planted commonly along roadsides and in large plantations throughout the tropics.
- IUCN status of Least Concern (LC).
According to Flora of Tropical East Africa[FTEA]
- It is a large tree at maturity, up to 50 m..
- Large elliptic leaves 10–100 cm. long, 5–50 cm. wide, mostly about 30 × 25 cm., stellate-tomentose beneath and often with red coloration on rubbing.
- Inflorescences massive, ± 40 cm. long, 35 cm. wide with stellate-tomentose axes and small white flowers, the corolla-tube ± 1.5–3 mm. long.
- Fruit subglobose, ± 1.5 cm. long and wide, enclosed in the inflated bladdery calyx 2.5 cm. long and wide.
- Information on teak has been summarised by Krishna Murthy (Bibliography on teak, Dehra Dun, 1981) and Moldenke gives much information (Phytologia 1: 154–164 (1935) & 5: 112–120 (1954)).
Assam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam
Andaman Is., Angola, Belize, Benin, Cabinda, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Gambia, Gulf of Guinea Is., Honduras, Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Panamá, Philippines, Southwest Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela
Tectona grandis L.f. appears in other Kew resources:
Herbarium Catalogue (55 records)
|Date Identified||Reference||Herbarium Specimen||Type Status|
|Jan 1, 1939||Netherlands Indies Forestry Service [bb25521], Indonesia||K000932050|
|Jan 1, 1939||Netherlands Indies Forestry Service [bb25521], Indonesia||K000932051|
|May 13, 1923||Bünnemeijer, H.A.B. , Indonesia||K000932038|
|Jan 1, 1923||Thomson, G. [46a], India||K000249764|
|Jan 1, 1923||Thomson, G. [46a], India||K000249765|
|Kochummen, K.M. , Malaysia||K000897973|
|Kochummen, K.M. , Malaysia||K000897974|
|Aziz , Malaysia||K000897975|
|Thorel, M. le , Vietnam||K000897976|
|Thorel, M. le , Vietnam||K000897977|
|Thorel, M. le , Vietnam||K000897978|
|Meynant [s.n.], Vietnam||K000897979|
|Pabbé Bon, M. , Vietnam||K000897980|
|Thorel, M. le , Vietnam||K000897981|
|Kerr, A.F.G. , Thailand||K000897982|
|Esser, H.J. , Thailand||K000897983|
|Kostermans, A. , Thailand||K000897984|
|Kostermans, A. , Thailand||K000897985|
|Chantaranothai, P. [90/659], Thailand||K000897986|
|Keith, H.G. [A1530], Malaysia||K000932031|
|Keith, H.G. [A1530], Malaysia||K000932032|
|Marsemi , Indonesia||K000932033|
|Ambri , Indonesia||K000932034|
|Ambri , Indonesia||K000932035|
|Robinson, C.B. , Indonesia||K000932036|
|Robinson, C.B. [298bis], Indonesia||K000932037|
|s.coll. [s.n.], Indonesia||K000932039|
|Koorders, S.H. , Indonesia||K000932040|
|Herb. Blume [s.n.], Indonesia||K000932041|
|Horsfield, T. [s.n.], Indonesia||K000932042|
|Voogd, C.N.A. de [s.n.], Indonesia||K000932043|
|Koorders, S.H. , Indonesia||K000932044|
|Jugah ak. Tagi , Malaysia||K000932045|
|Jugah ak. Tagi , Malaysia||K000932046|
|Abu Bakar, F.R. [A277], Malaysia||K000932047|
|Abu Bakar, F.R. [A277], Malaysia||K000932048|
|Cuadra, A. [A2471], Malaysia||K000932049|
|Cuadra, A. [A272], Malaysia||K000932052|
|Gibot, A. , Malaysia||K000932053|
|Rahman , Malaysia||K000932054|
|Rahman , Malaysia||K000932055|
|Williams, R.S. , Philippines||K000932056|
|Miranda, D.P. , Philippines||K000932057|
|Hutchinson, W.I. , Philippines||K000932058|
|Hutchinson, W.I. , Philippines||K000932059|
|Hutchinson, W.I. , Philippines||K000932060|
|Romero, E.M. , Philippines||K000932061|
|Romero, E.M. , Philippines||K000932062|
|Merrill, E.D. , Philippines||K000932063|
|Pray, F.L. , Philippines||K000932064|
|Barbon , Philippines||K000932065|
|Pray, F.L. , Philippines||K000932066|
|Miras , Philippines||K000932067|
|Hooker f. , Pakistan||K000249763|
|Styles, B.T. , Uganda||25694.023|
First published in Suppl. Pl.: 151 (1782)
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-  (2011) Bothalia 41: 41-82
-  Boley J.D., Drew A.P., Andrus R.E. (2009). Effects of active pasture, teak (Tectona grandis) and mixed native plantations on soil chemistry in Costa Rica. Forest Ecology and Management. 257: 2254-2261.
-  Bonnington C., Weaver D., Fanning E. (2009). The use of teak (Tectona grandis) plantations by large mammals in the Kilombero Valley, southern Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology. 47: 138-145.
-  Derwisch S., Schwedenmann L., Olschewski R., Holscher D. (2009). Estimation and economic evaluation of aboveground carbon storage of Tectona grandis in Western Panama. New Forests. 37: 227-240.
-  Ghaisas M., Navghare V., Takawale A., Zope V., Tanwar M., Deshpande A. (2009). Effect of Tectona grandis Linn. on dexamethasone-induced insulin resistance in mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 122: 304-307.
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-  Sumthong P., Romero-Gonzalez R.R., Verpoorte R. (2008). Identification of anti-wood rot compounds in teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) sawdust extract. Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology. 28: 247-260.
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Flora of Tropical East Africa
International Plant Names Index
The International Plant Names Index (2016). Published on the Internet http://www.ipni.org
[B] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
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[F] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0