Chatim, Devil's tree, Alstonia scholaris

Chatim or Devil's tree (Alstonia scholaris, family: Apocynaceae) is a much branched tall tree. The evergreen tree gets a height of 15-20 m. Its trunk is dark grey, slightly rough. The good looking tree is found in South and Southeast Asia.  

Flowers are greenish white, occurs in a large cluster, extreme scented. For this its presence is felt from afar at night. This is one of the main features of the tree.

Leaves are narrow, obovate, 10-18 cm long and 4-5 cm wide; shiny above, pale beneath. Leaf breaks if you fold. The canopy spreads like an umbrella. Wood is white and soft. Leaves, branch, trunk─overall whole tree contains milky latex. In Sanskrit, it is called Shopto-porni (seven-leaved tree). Though a rachis holds 4-7 plates usually, sometimes 8.

It blooms in late Autumn (Sep-Oct).

Fruits are light green, slender, cylindrical, 20-50 cm long. Ripe fruits burst. They remain on tree like this for a long time. Its propagation is caused by seeds.

Its wood is useful to make pencil, matchstick, coffin, tea-box. It is believed that the tree has come from China to the Indian subcontinent. It is found almost everywhere in Bangladesh. Chatim is is used in pyorrhea, pimple, urinary diseases, lack of breast milk, leprosy, fever, cough, cold, worm, asthma, arthritis and many other diseases.


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