Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Alstonia
Botanical name: Alstonia scholaris
Sanskrit: Saptaparna, Sapthachada, Visalatvak, Chatraparna, Suktiparna
English: Devil tree, Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood
Hindi: Chattiyan, Saitan ka jat
Malayalam: Ezhilam pala, Yakshippala, Daivappala, Pala
Devil tree is a small tree that grows up to 40 m tall and is glabrous. The bark is greyish; branchletsare copiously lenticellate.
The upperside of the leaves are glossy, while the underside is greyish. Leaves occur in whorls of 3-10;petioles are 1–3 cm; the leathery leaves are narrowly obovate to very narrowly spathulate, base cuneate, apex usually rounded; lateral veins occur in 25-50 pairs, at 80-90° to midvein. Cymes are dense and pubescent; peduncle is 4–7 cm long. Pedicels are usually as long as or shorter than calyx. The corolla is white and tube-like, 6–10 mm; lobes are broadly ovate or broadly obovate, 2-4.5 mm, overlapping to the left. The ovaries are distinct and pubescent. The follicles are distinct and linear.
Flowers bloom in the month October. The flowers are very fragrant similar to the flower of Cestrum nocturnum.
Seeds of A. scholaris are oblong, with ciliated margins, and ends with tufts of hairs 1.5–2 cm. The bark is almost odourless and very bitter, with abundant bitter and milky sap.
The bark and leaves of the Devil tree is used for earaches, fever, malaria, liver congestion, toothache, diabetes and epilepsy.
Devil Tree
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