Devil’s Tree

There are rows of these trees in our colony. Tree is called Devil tree, Alstonia Scholaris. These are in prime condition, quite tall. They become very much noticeable during flowering season.

The flowers have very strong scent. It becomes very difficult to breath because of intense fragrance. Fragrance of flowers from so many trees is so overwhelming that many children develop the breathing difficulties.

This elegant evergreen tree is found in most parts of India. The generic name commemorates the distinguished botanist, Prof. C. Alston of Edinburgh, 1685-1760. The species name scholaris refers to the fact that the timber of this tree has traditionally been used to make wooden slates for school children. Its is commonly known as the Devil Tree, as it is considered to be the abode of the devil, in popular imagination. In October small, green yet fragrant flowers appear. All parts of the tree can be considered poisonous. It is a tall elegant tree with grayish rough bark. A regular branching gives the tree a beautiful shape. The wood is too soft for making anything – so it is usually used in making packing boxes, blackboards etc.

In the Western Ghats, tribal people are reluctant to sit or pass under this tree, for the fear of the devil.

4 thoughts on “Devil’s Tree”

  1. I have been searching information on this tree since I saw it in Nerul, Navi Mumbai. Thanks for the information.

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