The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Teak (Tectona grandis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Tectona
Species: grandis
Binomial name
Tectona grandis

Teak is a tropical hardwood tree, with the botanic name Tectona grandis, family Verbenaceae. It is native to the south and east of South Asia and much of Southeast Asia, and is commonly found as a component of monsoon forest vegetation. It is now widely planted elsewhere in the tropics.

The timber is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture, boat decks, and other articles where weather resistance is desired. It is also used for indoor flooring.

Teak is easily worked, beautiful, and has natural oils that make it suitable for use in exposed locations. The best teak wood is old teak, which is more durable and harder. New teak is more prone to splitting and water damage.

Its popularity has led to growth in sustainable production on plantations. Contrary to popular belief, teak does not grow in the rainforest and its consumption encompasses a different set of environmental concerns, such as the disappearance of rare hardwood teaks or supporting oppressive regimes.

Much of the world's teak is exported by Indonesia and Burma.

Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55