The coloring of Mahogany Hardwood is very much apt to its name, but there are at least four subspecies with some slight variations in features and applications.
African Mahogany Hardwood (Khaya)
As the common name suggests, Khaya is indigenous to the tropics of West Africa. These 5-foot-wide trees grow up to thirty feet above the one hundred mark with a deep red hue. The wood contains a bit of luster, and the so-called “cat’s eye effect” gives the irregular grain an added bit of dimension. This course, openly porous wood can be used to make ply, and is used in shipbuilding as well as furniture. African Mahogany is one of the most exotic of all hardwoods available.
Cuban Mahogany Hardwood (Swietenia Mahogani)
Cuban Mahogany is native to the Caribbean region as well as Florida. The trees are smaller than those used in African Mahogany, growing only 65 feet in stature with 5-foot diameters. The coloring is lighter than that of African Mahogany, more pink than red, though darker strains are also seen. While the lumber is hard to come by, there are numerous applications for Cuban Mahogany including instruments, furniture, and cabinets. The wood can also be used in wood sculpting and shipbuilding as well as veneers.
Honduran Mahogany Hardwood (Swietenia Macrophylla)
Found in Honduras, Brazil, Mexico, and even America, Honduran Mahogany is fairly large with a growing height of 150 feet and a standard width of six feet. The wood is similar in its hue as that of Cuban Mahogany, and also sports similarly large pores in its surface. While it has many of the same uses such as furniture, cabinets, musical instruments, boats and decoratively carved objects, Honduran Mahogany is actually more likely to be used in these things since the wood itself is more readily available.
Santos Mahogany Hardwood (Myroxylon Balsamum)
This South American species is in the mid-range of sizes, around three feet wide and one hundred feet tall. With interlocked graining and a smooth texture, Santos Mahogany is one of the most varied in terms of its coloring. The color of the wood can range anywhere from a deep, almost purple shade of red to a bright gold. The species in general is common enough to find, and is frequently used in floors, furniture, and dimensional lumber for purposes of construction.