A large deciduous tree that grows up to 40 m in height, the Broad-leafed Mahogany has a round, dense crown with dark green glossy and asymmetric leaves that are crescent-shaped. Its trunk is broad and buttressed, with scaly dark grey bark. Its flowers are fragrant, pale green to yellow in colour, and occur in large bunches arising from the axils of the leaves. The fruit is a distinctive, brown, large and heavy woody pod that splits into five valves to release numerous flat single-winged seeds when mature.
The broad-leafed Mahogany is a native of Tropical America. Its timber is valued highly for making furniture, panelling or musical instruments. In the third edition of Professor E.J.H. Corner’s book, Wayside Trees of Malaya (1988 reprint), it was noted that this species was introduced to Malaya around 1876. In fact, this Heritage Tree near the Singapore Botanic Gardens could have been planted by Professor Corner himself in 1935, as he was the Assistant Director of the Gardens at the time.