Alstonia spatulata Blume

Last updated: 02 April 2015

Scientific Name

Alstonia spatulata Blume


Alstonia cochinchensis Pierre ex Pit., Alstonia cuneata Wall. ex G.Don [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Pulai paya (General); pulai basong (Peninsula); pulai lilin (Sabah); [2] pulai putih, pokok rejang, basong, [3] pelai [4]
English Hard milkwood, siamese balsa [2]
Indonesia Lame bodas (General); pulai gabus (Sumatra);[2] gabusan (Sundanese)
Thailand Thia, sia, teenpet phru (Peninsular); [2] tin [3]
Vietnam s[uwx]a l[as] b[af]ng, m[ows]p, m[of] cua n[uw][ows]c [2].

Geographical Distributions

Alstonia spatulata is distributed in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Bangka Island, West Java, Borneo and New Guinea. It is occurs scattered on poorly drained, frequently flooded, clay-rich alluvium and on gley soils on undulating land, particularly near streams, usually below 300 m altitude. It is often abundant in secondary or shrub vegetation. [2]

Botanical Description

A. spatulata comes from the family of Apocynaceae. It is a small to medium-sized tree which can grow up to 20(-30) m tall. Its cylindrical bole is above a fluted and the outer bark is grey, smooth and with small papery flakes while the inner bark is pale yellow and with copious latex. [2]

The roots are shortly buttressed, and measures up to 75 cm in diametre. [2]

The leaves are on a narrowly winged petiole in whorls of 4-6, measuring 7-10 cm long, spoon-shaped, rounded at the top and with numerous secondary veins. [2]

The inflorescence is loose and its flowers are borne on pedicels of 2-10 mm long. The sepal is hairless while the petal is smooth outside. The follicles are hairless. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

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Clinical Data

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Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. spatulata Blume. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Alstonia spatulata Blume [homepage on the internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 March 23; cited 2015 April 02] Available from:
  2. Teo SP. Alstonia spatulata Bl. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 2001. p. 68.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC-IMR: 2002. p.37.
  4. Umberto Q. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (5 Volume Set). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2012. p. 211