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Alstonia macrophylla (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Alstonia macrophylla Wallich ex G. Don

Protologue: Gen. syst. 4: 87 (1837).


  • Alstonia batino Blanco (1845)
  • Alstonia pangkorensis King & Gamble (1907)
  • Alstonia oblongifolia Merr. (1915)
  • Alstonia brassii Monach. (1949)

Vernacular names

  • Hard alstonia, hard milkwood (En)
  • Indonesia: pule batu (Ambon), kai riti (Seram), ai oi (Biak)
  • Malaysia: pulai penipu bukit (Peninsular), pulai daun besar, sayongan (Sabah)
  • Papua New Guinea: ai wawoi (Papua), andelagar (Enga), dero (Madang)
  • Philippines: batino (Tagalog, Bikol, Pangasinan), kuyau-kuyau (Bikol), itang-itang (Panay Bisaya), cayacayao
  • Thailand: thungfa (peninsular), kra thungfa hai (Chumphon), teen thian (Songkhla)
  • Vietnam: sữa lá lớn, mớp lá to.


From Sri Lanka and Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam to Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo (Sabah), the Philippines, the Moluccas and New Guinea. Cultivated in India and Africa.


The wood is used as hard alstonia. Because of its wavy and attractive nature, it is especially suitable for furniture and flooring.

In the Philippines, the bark in the form of powder, decoction, infusion, tincture or wine preparation is used as a febrifuge, tonic, antiperiodic, antidysenteric, emmenagogue, anticholeric and a vulnerary. In Thailand, the bark is used as a tonic, antiamoebic, emmenagogue and antimalarial. In the Central Province (Papua New Guinea) a decoction of the young leaves is drunk to cure lung and ear congestions. In the Oro (Northern) Province (Papua New Guinea) the scraped bark is mixed with water and drunk, as well as used to wash the forehead, to relieve a headache.


A small to medium-sized tree up to 30(-50) m tall, bole straight, up to 100 cm in diameter, sometimes fluted at the base or with small buttresses, outer bark blackish-brown to grey, smooth or rough, minutely scaly, tuberculate, or fissured, inner bark cream, with broken, orange-yellow laminations, without latex.

  • Leaves in whorls of 3-4, obovate or narrowly obovate, sometimes elliptical to narrowly elliptical, 4.5-25(-32) cm × 1.5-10.5 cm, apex rounded to narrowly acuminate, with 12-25(-31) pairs of secondary veins, petiole 2-25 mm long.
  • Inflorescence many-flowered, pedicel 1-4 mm long, calyx laxly puberulous to glabrous, corolla glabrous outside.
  • Follicles glabrous.

A. macrophylla grows in a wide range of vegetation types and soils in primary and disturbed forest ranging from flooded areas to montane forest, on soils ranging from sandy clay to limestone, from sea-level to about 2900 m altitude.

Selected sources

100, 146, 175, 307, 315, 370, 455, 484, 496, 568, 575, 579, 608, 617, 619, 625, 704, 779. timbers

6, 68,

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1985. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. Revised Edition. Vol. 1. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India. 513 pp.427, 431, 520, 672, 786, 810, 834, 867, 950, 1078. medicinals

Main genus page


  • Rudjiman
  • Stephen P. Teo