alstonia, Australian quinine bark tree, bitter-bark tree, blackboard tree, chatiyan wood, devil’s tree, dita bark tree, shaitan, white cheesewood tree • Bengali: “ছাতিম” — “Chatim” • Hindi: चितवन chitvan, शैतान का झाड़ shaitan ka jhar • Kannada: doddapala, janthaila • Malayalam: daivappala • Marathi: सप्तपर्ण saptaparna, satvin • Sanskrit: सप्तपर्ण saptaparna • Tamil: ஏழிலை paalai, ezilai paalai, mukumpaalai, palegaruda, முகும்பலை mukumpalai • Telugu: ఏడాకులయరటిచెట్టు edakulayaraticettu, సప్తవర్ణము saptavarnamu;
In olden days the wood of this tree was used to make slates for children, hence scholaris;
The dita bark of the tree is used in Indian medecine for treating asthma and heart ailments, fever and diarrhoea. During the Diwali festival, the bitter bark is consumed before eating sweets to neutralize the excessive intake of sugar;
The bark is supposed to be very useful for blood purification especially in case of diabetes or Jaundice in Jharkhand as well as in Ayurveda;
Its pollen is very very allergenic… proving to be causing seasonal fevers, sinusitis and eye irritation…;
Alstonia scholaris in fruit: Alstonia scholaris in fruit,
Patuli, Kolkata, India
8 January 2011
The fruits do look quite similar to those of *Wrightia tinctoria* (Khirni)
– We noted Some Bark scraping in Konkan region. Can anybody tell for which purpose this bark is used???
– I read somewhere that the bark is used in the treatment of diabetes.
– according to info. in the book ‘Trees of Mumbai’ pg 51 …” In olden days the wood of this tree was used to make slates for children, hence scholaris.” The book further adds “The dita bark of the tree is used in Indian medecine for treating asthma and heart ailments, fever and diarrhoea. During the Diwali festival, the bitter bark is consumed before eating sweets to neutralize the excessive intake of sugar.”
– Useful Link
“Type II Diabetes and Alstonia scholaris”
– A little trivia: Large branches of the big Alstonia scholaris tree behind the house I temporarily stay in Delhi was cut down ostensibly to allow the sun rays on the flower bed in the small park. Apparently, the local garden
– One of the local names of Alstonia scholaris is CHHATIM or CHATNI CHAAL.
– The state tree of Bengal
– Its called SCHOLARIS because, the old times plates of leaves were exclusively used to give away degrees to the students.
– This is still a practice in Viswa Bharati university shantiniketan, west bengal India
– The compound leaf was used as a plate and the degree which was usually on the paper or parchment sheet or may be leather, or whatever, is kept on the plate.
– All the soureces of information I have state that it gets its specific name of *scholaris* from the fact that in olden days the the wood was used for making school slates. Nowhere is the name attributed to have originated from the fact of giving degrees on the leaves. Besides the source I have stated earlier ‘Medecinal plants’ by S.K. Jain and ‘The book of Indian Trees’ by K. C. Sahni too mention the same reason of use of slates.
I feel that because of the name Alstonia scholaris and the 4 to 7 whorled shape of leaves, it could have led to the practise of using it to hand over the degrees on, as followed at Shantiniketan mentioned by Tanay. Attaching recent pictures from MNP, Mumbai.
-I dont know, may be the leaves are insect repellent. There are could be other reasons. There are some funny stories about many such plants. For example, why Julius Ceaser had this Laurel Leaf crown though he
– i started trying to figure out the logic in the number of leaves on each compound leaf. 6 on some twigs, repeated, if there are 7 then this is also repeated on the next level, others have 9. then i googled and found alstonia scholaris used in a scientific paper to model a virtual tree. after applying the procedure the author says “the difference between the model constructed from our system and the target plant remains. this is because of the complexity in nature which [sic] the random could not easily interpreted and calculated by humans.” (p.6). i still have not found anything about the maths underlying the number of leaves on compound leaves as the tree grows. so i offer this link as a small contribution to the stories instead. my conclusion: it must be this gap between what would be mathematically perfect and what is, that makes nature so perfect. 🙂
– This is true that we cant interpret science with our theories. They are just hypothesis and assumptions. The number of leaflets in compound leaves vary a lot but that too depend on the species. In some plants the numbers are always fixed, like Butea (3), Marsilea (4), Regnellidium (2); but in some like members of Araliaceae, Alstonia, Bombax etc. Its not a big deal. Personally I feel, it may be due to availability of nutrient during that particular times. Its just like having twin or quadruplet or triplet baby. You can never predict it in advance!!!
– The Blackboards, which were used in the classes in my time, weremadefrom Scholar’s tree. Hence the name Alstonia scholaris. .., choping the braches of trees is ban in Delhi. If somebody does it without forest department’s writtenpermision can be sued, and the penalty is one year jail or Rs. 80,000=00 fine or both.
– Here there is information re graduation certficates at Shantiniketan [ref.”Sen”trees of Mumbai page 123]
Devil’s tree-MN030211: Seen this tree with flower in a garden.
Place : Dombivli
Date : 31.12.10
– Alstonia scholaris commonly known as Devil’s tree in Bengali we call it Chatim the state tree of Bengal
– It is also known as Slate tree for the wood was being used for slates. Also known as scholar’s tree.
A for Alstonia and Asthma-Sunday Reading: Forwarding information on different aspects of Alstonia published in local newspaper in Hindi.
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– I dont understand. Saptaparni is a Sanskrit name and upto now I have known it to be a native tree. Give a dog bad name and hang it! Cassia Siamea is not native and it has allregic characteristic. But how about Putranjiva? Some time back there was a rumour of its allergenic chaaracteristic and so many old trees in the Lutyen’s Delhi were cut. Is this some sort of conspiracy to dub native trees as allergenic. Okay, how about mustard and marigold? Both have allergic character. Should we stop cultivating mustard and and marigold. Allergy from pollen of any number of trees and bushes is a known fact and it is in other countries also (Hayfever!). Should we grow only ipomea, eucalyptus and lantana??
– please read the complete article. I have explained on all aspects both positive and negative. I can quote the reference of information if you wish.
VALMIKI: OBSERVER OF NATURE: Valmiki mentions about SHINSHAPA tree in his Ramayan. When Hanuman could locate Sita in Ashok vatika, he was sitting on the branch of a SHINSHAPA tree ( as per Valmiki in his Ramayan). The scientific name of this tree is Dalbergia sissoo. Attaching an image of this tree.
where can one read about the trees (flora) of Ramayana… is there an essay or book that esp deals with flora of Ramayana? I guess the photos you have loaded is not of Dalbergia sisso pls check for any error
Looks like saptaparni, Scholar tree. D. sissoo has small roundish leaves.
Thank you for the reference, I registered at the site and they allowed me to download the file…. there is a map of India and Ceylon… in it where Ram had moved thru… its a very diverse set of ecosystem…difficult to recreate in ONE BOTANICAL GARDEN…. if Govt India or some such body decides to take up the project and makes at least about 7 gardens spread over India then may be the different ecosystems can be accommodated…. it can be done… all we need are bureaucrats with dreaming quality… a dream created the AGRI-Hort Garden and the Botanical garden in Kolkata, the Kew and the NYBG… superb examples of far- sightedness of bureaucrats… take care, and thanks… I am going to study the list carefully.
This is undoubtedly Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br. of Apocynaceae family. Any way a better picture of a branch with mature leaves would be helpful for clarification. It cant be Dalbergia sisso as this species has compound leaves. In this picture 7 leaves are from a single node.
Yes, it is Satparni– Alstonia scholaris.
SYMBIOSIS 67: Attaching the 67th image of the series.Here a Lime butterfly is on the flowers of Alstonia scholaris ( DEVIL’S TREE/SCHOLAR’S TREE/CHATIM ). If you are interested in Butterflies, you may wait under blooming Alstonia scholaris, I have recorded 24 species of butterflies on this tree. My score on Lime butterfly is 19 species of flowers.
efloraindia: 181111 BRS176: Sharing the images of Alstonia scholaris from Coimbatore.
Location: PSGRK College, Peelamedu, Coimbatore.
I saw Stavin flowering too in Jaipur, a few days back.
it is also flowering in Haryana now days
I was wondering what do you mean by Stavin. You meant Saatvin सातवीण
It is flowering in Pune too. Less flowers though this year.
Attaching Satvin/ Dita tree pics frm Jaipur. Dated -06.11.11.
Its flowering in Kolkata too, but only some trees …
ছাতিম chhatim, the Indian Devil Tree, is the State Tree of West Bengal.
SYMBIOSIS :234: Attaching an image in which there are two Redbase Butterflies on the flowers of Alstonia scholaris.
alstonia scholaris: does anybody have experience with fragrance of alstonia scholaris flower’s? those who want to experience visit all public garden’s in pune city. lot of flowering with fresh fragrance.
Yes presently flowering profusely at many places.
Yes… and how… all alstonia are flowering at the same time and in last 10 years thousands have been planted by Kolkata municipal body on roadsides, at about 5 rupees or less for each sapling I was told by gardener’s supply !!!!!
SYMBIOSIS : 262: At this time of the year Alstonia scolaris blooms at this place. You can’t miss the smell of this flower even from a distance at night. Attacing an image of a Peacock Pansy butterfly on this flower. As the tree is on the road side, the leaves are dusted.
yes … nice pic
Hooghly Today : Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.: Though flowering season of CHHATIM (ছাতিম) = Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br. is over now yet one or two trees are still flowering. Just a little while ago i come to know that it was CHHATIN (ছাতিন) in older days [ Ref. 1) An English Index to the Plants of India, p119, 2) Hortus Suburbanus Calcuttensis, p526 & 3) Bengal Plants, ii. 672] !!!
Requesting identification of this tree of medium height along Shastri Nagar Road at Pune. bunches of green slender strips were seen hanging all over the tree. There were many such trees along the road
This is Satvin [Alstonia scholaris], the Devil’s Tree / Scholar’s tree].
I agree with … It is Alstonia scholaris.
This year Alstonia scholaris had an unusually large flowering on most of the trees in Pune. Now all of them produced a large number of pods hanging from most of them like these.
VALMIKI : OBSERVER OF NATURE: Attaching two images of SAPTAPARNA as mentioned by Valmiki in his Ramayan. The scientific name of this tree is Alstonia scholaris. (Scholaris, as in good old days writing board for students used to be made out of the wood of this tree ).
Beautiful and fragrant!!!!!!! Now days any nematode is attacking on this plant and destroying this in many parts of Haryana
Wow great to see 10 leaves in a whorl. They are 8 most of the times but rarely 7 though it is called as Saptaparni …….. Apocyanaceae
Here is the fruit
Alstonia scholaris (family : Apocynaceae) Hooghly, WB : Attachments (4). 13 posts by 6 authors.
Attaching images of CHATIM GACH (GACH = tree) that i recorded in 2009. I don’t know why it has been given an English name like the ‘Indian Devil Tree’.
This tree has a connection with the Great Tagore family. Maharshi Debendranath Tagore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debendranath_Tagore) set up an ASHRAM under one of this tree and the place later became the world famous Visva-Bharati University (for more please see – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visva-Bharati_University).
Species : Alstonia scholaris (family : Apocynaceae)
Type : plantation
Date : flowering tree: 05-Oct-2009, leaves & fruits : 26-Feb-2009, 08-Feb-2012
Place : Kamarkundu Railway Station (Hooghly District), West Bengal
Nice Catch … This tree is in Danger in our area due to attack of some kind of Nematodes almost everywhere…
Thank you Sir. I am attaching a photograph of part of its pod. Did those nematodes produce the nodules on its pods?
The tree has also got the name scholar’s tree, as writing boards were prepared from the wood, earlier.
Thank you … I didn’t know this name and it is also very apt for the Visva-Bharati story.
When it blooms emits sweetest smell in the surroundings.
I never noticed it before. This year i will remain alert during October that i think is its flowering time.
Alstonia pollen are allergic to many. (see attached clipping)
In Traditional Healing many formulations including Pueraria based Formulations are used to manage Alstonia allergy.
Thank you Sir for the alert. Maybe that’s why they named it the devil tree.
… it flowers in Oct. During Sharad Purnima.
I guess the name ghost tree is due to myths that ghosts reside in this tree. There was discussion about this earlier in our group with really gruesome stories.
Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br from Assam : Attachments (4). 2 posts by 2 authors.
Attached images are Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br.
Location: Kamrup district, Assam
Family : Apocynaceae
Genus & species : Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br
Habitat: Grows wild
Habit : Tree
Thanks for this posting. I am afraid of it.
3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2).
State Tree of West Bengal Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Br. (Apocynaceae)
Alstonia scholaris (Saptaparni in Bengali) is declared as the State Tree of West Bengal, India.
This is Rabindranath Tagore’s much loved tree and under this tree (in Bengali it is called chhatimtala) prayer services are held on very special days in Santiniketan. Rabindranath, too, like his father before him would sit in meditation here, under the chhatim trees during sunset.
Leaves of the Chhatim (Alstonia scholaris) trees are given to graduating students at the annual convocation in Visva-Bharati (University).
Pictures are taken from Hatibagan, Kolkata during September, 2011.
A handsome tree in North India! Flowers emit a strong aroma periodically.
Yes …, the aroma of this flower is very strong and nice.
It symbolizes the beginning of festive season (Durga Puja) in West Bengal along with Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L.
Flower for Id-ID25102015SH2 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Old picture of flower for Id pl.
Seems like Alstonia scholaris
Alstonia scholaris (Apocynaceae) I hope.
Please compare with- efi thread
SYMBIOSIS : SPECIAL ( ALSTONIA SCHOLARIS ) : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (3)
I have recorded as many as 31 species of butterfly visiting flowers of Alstonia scholaris. Attacing a collage in which there are 19 species of butterfly visiting the flowers of Alstonia Scholaris (CHATIM). Attaching two images of Alstonia scholaris
TSP-JAN2016-02-02: Images of Alstonia scholaris (Apocynaceae) : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (6)
It is my pleasure to share few images of Alstonia scholaris (Apocynaceae)
Habitat: Semi-evergreen forests
Sighting: Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1000 msl
Date: 26-11-2015 and 28-11-2015
Alstonia scholaris Dehisced fruits : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
I had seen this Alstonia scholaris tree @ Adichunchanagiri hills. All seeds were shed off.
SYMBIOSIS : 856 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Attaching an image of a Red- spot Sawtooth butterfly visiting flowers of Alstonia scholaris.
SYMBIOSIS : 858 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
Attaching an image of a Common Albatross butterfly visiting flowers of Alstonia scholaris (DEVIL’S TREE/ CHATIM)
Grown up alstonia scholaris not flowring : 5 posts by 3 authors.
We have alstonia scholaris in our compound (Powai, Mumbai)
It has grown up appox 50 fts but it is not flowering (Observed last 2/3 years).
Many other trees smaller than this one are flowering.
What could be the reason?
Any remedial action is required?
Kindly provide information
Thanks, … May I request you to send some images also.
Please check whether it is receiving proper sunlight. The tree needs bright sunlight. The trees grown in shade/ semishade areas may not flower properly during the flowering season. Some times due to lack of potassium in the soil results in non-flowering of the tree.
Fwd: SYMBIOSIS : 977 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Common Crow butterfly visiting flowers of Alstonia scholaris (CHATIM/ CHATIAN/ SAPTAPARNI/ DEVIL’S TREE)
Fwd: SYMBIOSIS : 978 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1) Attaching a collage of Common Mime (dissimilis) visiting flowers of Alstonia scholaris. (CHATIM/ SAPTAPARNI/ CHATIAN/ DEVIL’S TREE).
Fwd: SYMBIOSIS : 979 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Blank Swift butterfly visiting flowers of Alstonia scholaris (CHATIM/ SAPTAPARNI/ CHATIAN/ DEVIL’s TREE)
Alstonia Scholaris (Saptparni) season in Delhi : 8 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (9)
The winter is approaching and the Saptparni trees in Delhi are in Bloom.
This location : Delhi
Season : October 2018
Link to Wikipedia. : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alstonia_scholaris
Super presentation, …
Here in Kolkata also they are in flowers. And their scent is observed all around, particularly in the evening.
Id. of Tree Please : 5 images.
location:Aambyvalley Rd.,Off Lonavala,Pune
Height:more 15 ft. atleast
Other:Never seen it flowering in so many years…surprising.
Isn’t it Alstonia scholaris?
Thanks, …, for the id.
To me also appears close to images at Alstonia scholaris
Yes it does look like A.scholaris but my only doubt was because I never saw it flowering in so many years…but then I read in a thread about same problem with this tree and the answer was either due to poor sunlight or lack of potassium. I now think that could be the reason but otherwise the tree is very healthy.
Photographs of the tree Alstonia scholaris are attached herewith.
Location : Chennai.