Teak (Tectona grandis) is a tropical hardwood tree species placed in the flowering plant family Lamiaceae. Tectona grandis (Teak) was first formally described by Carl Linnaeus the Younger in his 1782 work Supplementum Plantarum. Tectona Grandis (Teak) is native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Molecular studies show that there are two centers of the genetic origin of teak: one in India and the other in Myanmar and Laos. In India, the main teak forests are found in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh, Gujarath, Rajasthan, Manipur, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. The English word teak comes from Tamil tekku,

Many of the Milestones developments in the history of teak plantations took place in Kerala, India. The world’s first teak Plantation was raised at Nilambur during the 1840s. Nilambur in Kerala, India, is also a major producer of teak of fine quality, holds the world’s oldest teak plantation.
It was the Britishers who identified the superior quality of teak from Nilambur plantations and forests. Later, the region became the major supplier of quality teak in the world.

Teak is one of the most valuable timbers, “the king under the timbers”, in ancient times considered as “a royal timber”

Teak is worldwide recognized for its durability and stability, Teak is one of the few timbers that can withstand the heat of the desert and will not readily catch fire. Teak’s high oil content, high tensile strength, and tight grain make it particularly suitable where weather resistance is desired. It has numerous uses including shipbuilding (especially decks), indoor or outdoor furniture, high-class joinery, flooring, paneling, plywood, decorative veneers, turnery, carving, chemical tanks, and vats. Works reasonably well with hand or machine tools but silica in wood is tough on cutting edges and machine dust can be an irritant. Good turning and carving properties. Gluing best done on freshly cut surfaces due to oily nature. Pre-drilling recommended for screwing and nailing. Stains and finishes well although natural oils can cause adhesion difficulties. Teak’s natural oils make it useful in exposed locations and make the timber termite and pest resistant. Teak is durable even when not treated with oil or varnish. Timber cut from old teak trees was once believed to be more durable and harder than plantation grown teak.

Nilambur Teakwood

Cross cut of Nilambur Teakwood.