Large deciduous tree (Tectona grandis) of the verbena family, and its wood, one of the most valuable and durable timbers. Teak has been widely used in India for more than 2,000 years; some temples contain teak beams more than 1,000 years old. The tree has a straight stem, often thickened at the base, a spreading crown, and four-sided branchlets. The rough leaves are opposite or sometimes whorled, and the branches end in many small white flowers. The unseasoned heartwood has a pleasant, strong aromatic fragrance and a beautiful golden-yellow colour, which on seasoning darkens into brown, mottled with darker streaks. Resistant to the effects of water, teakwood is used for shipbuilding, fine furniture, door and window frames, wharves, bridges, cooling-tower louvers, flooring, and paneling. Its desirability has led to severe overcutting in tropical forests.
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Teak (Tectona), is a genus of tropical hardwood trees in the family Verbenaceae, native to the south and southeast of Asia, and is commonly found as a component of monsoon forest vegetation. They are large trees, growing to 30-40 m tall, deciduous in the dry season.
The name teak comes from the Malayalam word Thekku. There are three species of Tectona:
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 and as a veneer for indoor furnishings.
Teak is easily worked and has natural oils that make it suitable for use in exposed locations, where it is durable even when not treated with oil or varnish. Teak cut from old trees grown slowly in natural forests is more durable and harder; teak from young trees grown in plantations is more prone to splitting and water damage, however kiln drying allows for sustainable, plantation-grown teak to perform nearly on par with old-growth teak.
Teak is used extensively in India to make doors and window frames, furniture and columns and beams in old type houses. It is very resistant to termite attacks. Mature teak fetches a very good price. It is grown extensively by forest departments of different states in forest areas.
Teak consumption encompasses a different set of environmental concerns, such as the disappearance of rare old-growth teak. However, its popularity has led to growth in sustainable production throughout the seasonally dry tropics in forestry plantations. The Forest Stewardship Council offers certification of sustainably grown and harvested teak products. Experiments are ongoing to achieve vegetative propagation from one year old stem cuttings.
Popular in the 1950s and 1960s in a style often known as Danish modern, teak furniture has had a second boom in popularity. Teak is one of the most sought-after types of vintage furniture.
Leaves of teak wood tree are used in making Pellakai gatti (Jackfruit dumpling) ,where batter is poured in a teak leaf and is steamed.This type of usage is found in coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in state of Karnataka in India. Teak is used as a food plant by the larvae of moths of the genus Endoclita including E. aroura, E. chalybeatus, E. damor, E. gmelina, E. malabaricus, E. sericeus and E. signifer and other Lepidoptera including Turnip Moth.
Hyblaea puera, an insect native to southeast Asia, is a teak pest whose caterpillar feeds on teak and other species of trees common in the region.. Much of the world's teak is exported by Indonesia and Myanmar.