About Honduran Mahogany
There are many types of mahogany hardwood that come from many locations around the world. The type of mahogany lumber that we carry can be classified best as Honduran Mahogany. Wood from this area was originally called "Bay Wood" in the 18th and 19th centuries because it was exported from the Bay of Campeche in Mexico - which is near Honduras.
Mahogany wood from Honduras is a dark colored hardwood which is often referred to as Swietenia mahogany, a species within the broader Meliaceae family, or simply, Mahogany family of woods. The Meliaceae family (Mahogany wood family) is a usually a flowering tree or possibly a shrub.
Many times, the related wood species within this family will be sold with the name "Mahogany" as well since they are closely related. Honduras Mahogany wood - actually all species of Swietnia - are listed within CITES which protects it from over harvesting and extinction which in turn makes Mahogany wood lumber a fairly valuable commodity. South America once had millions of Mahogany trees and the supply has diminished in some areas, but due to it's protection by CITES and plantation harvesting, the wood is still plentiful in Honduras and El Salvador and widely available and priced moderately.
Mahogany wood types within this family may also be referred to as South American Mahogany, Genuine Mahogany or Brazilian Mahogany. Not to complicate things further, but this type of wood can also be called Big Leaf, Large-Leaf (or leaved), Sky Fruit or Tropical American Mahogany.
Genuine Mahogany Wood
One thing that we should discuss regarding Mahogany Hardwood is the question of "what is genuine mahogany hardwood?". There seems to be so many types, species, fancy names and downright confusion. Let us try to clarify.
"Genuine" mahogany comes from the Swietenia species as we've said. This includes Honduran mahogany wood types and Cuban Mahogany. You'll see African, Philippine and others that aren't from the Swietenia family, and therefore not "genuine mahogany". True Mahoganies are really the best available and highly sought after for fine furniture and woodworking.
Early on in the 1920's, Cuban Mahogany was popular for furniture and it caused extreme deforestation of the trees in Cuba. Honduras is now the top source of genuine mahogany hardwood and it's now protected as we've said to ensure that the source is not abused and depleted.