This wonderful tree can sometimes be recognized by it’s stature alone. Little wonder why it is widely planted throughout tropical and subtropical regions. It has even been crowned the state tree of West Bengal. The geographical range of this species is impressive. It is a native citizen of China, India, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, practically everywhere in Southeast Asia and of course Queensland. The common names of this very widespread tree are numerous. It has been called the Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood. In Malaysia, trees of the genus Alstonia are generally known of as Pulai. This species is also a well known medicinal plant, and is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine.
The ecological characteristics of this genus of trees is quite uniform. They are often rainforest pioneer trees which persist as emergents after mature rainforest has developed. The leaves of this particular species often have a rounded apex and the veins are neatly parallel to each other. Distinctively also, the leaves are in whorls and weeps white sap when bruised, as is typical of Alstonias.