What is the plant
Alstonia scholaris, commonly called blackboard tree or devil's tree in English, is an evergreen tropical tree in the family Apocynaceae. It is native to southern China, tropical Asia and Australasia.
Alstonia scholaris is a glabrous tree and grows up to 40 m (130 ft) tall. From late October onwards small, green yet extremely fragrant flowers appear on this trees. It is commonly accepted that the fragrance from one tree can intoxicate up to a kilometer of polluted road. A tall elegant tree it has a greyish rough bark. Branches are whorled, and so are the leaves - several of them coming out of the same point. The tree is really elegant whether it is flowering or not. The slightly rounded, leathery, dark green leaves form whorls of 4-7. It has very regular branches and gives the tree a beautiful shape and look. The species name scholaris is attributed to the fact that the timber of this tree was traditionally used to make wooden slates for school going children. Also commonly known as the Devil Tree, in mythology and popular imagination it is considered to be the abode of the devil.
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