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Alstonia scholaris (L.) R.Br

Alstonia scholaris (L.) R.Br

Family

Apocynaceae

Synonyms

Echites scholaris L., Tabernaemontana alternifolia Burm., Echites pala Ham.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia

Pulai (Peninsular), kacau gitik (Kiput, Sarawak).

English

White cheesewood, milkwood, blackboard tree.

Brunei           

Pulai lilin.

Indonesia

Pulai (General), pule (Javanese), rite (Ambon).

Papua New Guinea

Katung (Buang, Morobe Province), kambuu (Kanganaman, Sepik Province), herina (Hisui, Central Province).

Philippines

Dita (Tagalog, Bikul, Sulu), dalipaoen (Iloko), tanitan (Bisaya).

Myanmar

Taung meok, lettok.

Laos

Tinpet.

Thailand

Sattaban, tin pet (Central), hassaban (Southwestern).

Vietnam

M[of] cua, s[uwx]a.

French

Shaitan.

Geographical Distributions

Alstonia scholaris is the most widely distributed Alstonia species, found from Sri Lanka and India through mainland Southeast Asia and southern China, throughout Malaysia, to northern Australia, the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands. It has also been planted elsewhere.

Description

Alstonia scholaris is a medium-sized to large tree that can grow up to 10-50(-60) m tall. The bole is cylindrical, massively fluted in older trees and measures up to 125 cm in diametre.

The buttresses are stout, and measure up to 10 m tall which spread out at the base for up to 4 m. The outer bark is brown or yellowish-white, smooth but coming off evenly in small papery flakes, with horizontally enlarged lenticels and hoops while the inner bark is yellow to brown, usually tinged yellowish and with copious white latex.

The leaves are in whorls of 4-8(-9), narrowly elliptical to obovate, measuring (5-)6-17(-22) cm x (1.5-)2.5-7.5(-8.5) cm, obtuse or rounded at apex and with 25-45(-55) pairs of secondary veins. The petiole is 5-20(-25) mm long.

The inflorescence is mostly formed of dense bunches of flowers and many-flowered while the pedicel is 0-2 mm long. The sepal is soft hairy while the petal is hairy outside. Follicles are hairless. 

Ecology / Cultivation

Alstonia scholaris is most abundant in monsoon areas, and it tolerates various soils and habitats, including secondary vegetation. It occurs from sea level up to about 1250 m altitude. As an ornament, it has proved to be adaptable to the climates of southern Florida and California (United States).

Line Drawing / Photograph

Alstonia_scholaris

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References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.