Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.
Synonym : Pala scholaris (L.) Roberty.
Family : Apocynaceae
Local Names : Ayyillampaala, Devil’s tree, Shaitan wood
Flowering and fruiting period: October – February
Distribution: South and South East Asia to Australia
Habitat: Moist deciduous forests and sacred groves, also in the plains
IUCN status: Least Concern
Uses: Sacred Indian plant, Timber yielding, Remedy for skin disorders. Its bark, known as Dita Bark, is used in traditional medicine to treat dysentery and fever. In Ayurveda it is used as a bitter and as an astringent herb for treating skin disorders, malarial fever, urticaria, chronic dysentery, diarrhea, in snake bite and for upper purification process of Panchakarma. The Milky juice of the tree is applied to ulcers
Key Characters: Large trees with grey-brown surface, irregularly cracked having latex milky white. Branchlets whorled. Leaves simple, whorled.Flower bisexual, greenish-white in terminal umbellate cymes. Calyx cupular, lobes 5, ovate. Corolla salver shaped, lobes 5, obovate to orbicular, creamy yellow. Stamens 5, Carpels 2, ovules many; style filiform; stigma obconic. Fruit a pendulous follicular mericarps.