Tectona grandis
Common Name: teak
Type: Tree
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Asia
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 60.00 to 80.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 60.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12 where it is best grown in acidic, fertile, sandy, moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils. Established trees have good drought tolerance. Intolerant of frost. Propagate by suckers or seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tectona grandis, commonly known as teak, is a tall deciduous tree that typically grows to 150' tall in its native habitat, but to about 80' in cultivation. It is native to India, Myanmar (Burma), Southeast Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia, but is now planted in tropical to sub-tropical areas throughout the globe, not only for ornamental reasons but also in plantations for commercial timber production. Timber from this tree is an important tropical wood (at or near the top of the list of world hardwoods). Unfortunately, demand for teak timber has far outpaced available supply with the result that many of the old teak forests from native habitat areas have now been decimated by overlogging. Even though the demand for teak wood remains unmet, commercial plantations help meet that demand in a way that does not harm natural plantings which in many areas are still subject to logging. Teak trees feature: (a) trunks with scaly gray to gray-brown bark topped by an open crown of spreading branches, (b) large, rough, leathery, ovate-elliptic, green leaves (to 18-30" long) which are covered by gray-green stellate hairs, (c) fragrant, finely-pubescent, white flowers which bloom in summer (June-August) in large terminal panicles to 16" long, (d) globose, finely pubescent fruits (to 2/3" diameter) enclosed in egg-shaped calyxes which mature from September to December, and (e) dark yellow trunk wood which turns an attractive deep brown when exposed to sunlight and air. Teak wood is hard, durable, fine-grained, resistant to decay if exposed to moisture and of attractive deep brown color. Teak wood is used in a variety of ways, including (a) for outdoor purposes, it is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture, boat building, doors and window frames, and (b) for indoor purposes, it is used for flooring, fine furniture and veneer. Teak is the national tree of Indonesia.

Genus name comes from the Tamil name for the teak tree (T. grandis).

Specific epithet means big or showy.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Shade tree or lawn specimen for large landscapes. Residential street tree. Timber.