Alstonia scholaris R. Br.

Alstonia scholaris R. Br.

Family :


English Name:

Dita Bark, Devil Tree

Local Name :

Shaitan Darakht, Chattian

Description :

A large evergreen tree. The branches are arranged in whorls along a buttressed trunk. Leaves are simple and arranged in whorls of 4 to 7. Each egg-shaped leaf is between 10 to 17 cm long and 4 to 7 cm wide. The leaves are leathery, shiny on top and a dull green underneath. The bark is grey and has vertical lines and is fairly smooth. The bark when wounded exudes a milky fluid. The flowers are green to white, borne in bunches and are small. It flowers in December to March. The fruit is a long tube usually occurring in pairs. The fruit matures between May and August. It has no known insects or disease problems. It is reproduced from seed. Seeds are 6 mm long and have a fringe of hairs at each end. Seed would be available from the Punjab Farm Research Institute, (PFRI) Gujranwala, Faisalabad. Growth is slow, with an annual diameter growth of 1.5 cm. Close grained with greyish white, creamy color sapwood having high density.

Distribution :

In Pakistan it is planted extensively in the Punjab as an avenue tree and in gardens. It is common in Lahore and Kharian Cantonment. An intolerant tree that does not do well in shade. It requires a precipitation zone of 600 to 1000 mm/yr. It prefers a semi-arid, hot sub-tropical climate with a temperature range of 4 to 42°C at elevations below 1000m.

Uses :

The tree is planted as an ornamental, but the bark is used for medicinal purposes. It is an excellent evergreen shade tree. Can also be used for ornamental and medicinal purposes.