Alstonia scholaris (Apocynaceae)

Alstonia scholaris

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.

Alstonia scholaris DSC_0101 (9)


About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Apocynaceae (Periwinkle family), Habitat - Rain forest, Lifeform - Trees & Shrubs, Medicinal Plants, Ornamental Plants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Alstonia scholaris (Apocynaceae)

  1. Pingback: The Magic of the Daintree | Leaf Whispering in the Tropics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s