Devil Tree (ഏഴിലംപാല)

Scientific Name: Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.

Synonyms: Alstonia kurzii Hook.f. , Pala scholaris L.Roberty

Unique ID: 7

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae


Series: Heteromerae

Order: Gentianales

Family: Apocyanaceae

Common Names

English – Devil tree

Malayalam – ഏഴിലംപാല

Tamil – Palai

Hindi – Chitvan

Others – Shaitan wood



Description: Trees, up to 30 m tall. Bark greyish-brown, lenticellate. Branches whorled; branchlets terete, glabrous. Latex milky white. Leaves simple, whorled with 4-7 unequal leaves; petiole 0.4-1.5 cm long; lamina 6-20 x 2.5-7 cm, narrow elliptic-oblanceolate, apex rounded or emarginate, shining above, glaucous beneath; secondary nerves many, closely parallel with intramarginal vein; tertiary nerves obscure. Flowers bisexual, in terminal and lateral, paniculate cyme, greenish white. Fruit and seed: Follicles, linear 20-50 cm long; seeds many, linear-oblong, flat with a fringe of long hairs at both ends. Flowering and fruiting: October to February

Habitat: In open evergreen forests to moist deciduous forests, at 200-700 m.

Distribution: South and South East Asia to Australia; Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Dry Deciduous Forests, often cultivated

UsesUsed in Ayurveda, Folk medicine, Homoeopathy, Folk medicine, Sowa-Rigpa, Unani, Siddha, Traditional Chinese medicine. Alstonia scholaris used in the treatment of fevers, chronic diarrhea, dysentery, ulcers, rheumatic pains, cancer, malarial etc. The ripe fruits of the plant are used in syphilis and epilepsy. The milky juice of Alstonia scholaris has been applied to treat ulcers.