Alstonia macrophylla

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Alstonia macrophylla
Batino (Alstonia macrophylla) leaves & fruit at Hyderabad, AP W 280.jpg
leaves & fruit in Hyderabad, India.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Alstonia
A. macrophylla
Binomial name
Alstonia macrophylla
  • Alstonia acuminata Miq.
  • Alstonia batino Blanco.
  • Alstonia brassii Monach.
  • Alstonia costata Wall. ex Miq.
  • Alstonia glabriflora Markgr.
  • Alstonia oblongifolia Merr.
  • Alstonia pangkorensis King & Gamble
  • Alstonia paucinervia Merr.
  • Alstonia subsessilis Miq.

Alstonia macrophylla, the hard alstonia, hard milkwood or big-leaved macrophyllum,[3] is a species of plant in the family Apocynaceae.


It is native to Indonesia (Kalimantan and Sulawesi), Malaysia, the Philippines (Tagalog: batino[4]), Thailand, and Vietnam. It was introduced to Sri Lanka, where it is known as hawari nuga by local Sinhalese people.


Alstonia macrophylla is a tree with a straight trunk and a high, narrow crown. It can grow up to 30 meters tall. The trunk and branches contain a white latex. The bark is smooth and has a light grey color. Leaves are in whorls of three to four, simple, penni-veined, membranous, and glabrous above. Leaf-blades are 10 to 50 centimeters long, 5 to 15 cm wide, widest in or above the middle, and cuneate at the base. Flowers are about 7 mm in diameter, white, with narrow corolla tube, placed terminal on twigs. Fruits are about 30 centimeters long, green and filled with many small hairy seeds that are dispersed far and wide by the wind. The heartwood is yellowish, with a straight and shallowly interlocked grain with a moderately fine to rather coarse texture.[5]

Natural habitat[edit]

Grows in a wide range of habits. Undisturbed and disturbed areas from sea-level up to 2900 meters altitude. Grows near the coast behind mangrove forests and in mixed dipterocarp forests. Usually grows on ridges and hillsides with sandy to clayey soils. It also grows in ultrabasic and limestone soils.[5]


The timber is of superior quality to that of Alstonia scholaris and less liable to attack by boring insects. It is used for making roof beams, frames, poles and toys. Being a quick growing tree that grows in a wide range of habitats and soils, it has been used for reforestation in Sri Lanka.[6]

Invasive species[edit]

In Sri Lanka, where it is called "havari nuga", it has been used for reforestation due to its fast growth rate and is now a widely spread invasive species in the wet zone. It mostly grows as a pioneer tree in disturbed forest areas.[7]


  1. ^ Sidiyasa, K. (1998). "Alstonia macrophylla". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 1998: e.T33194A9760084. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.1998.RLTS.T33194A9760084.en. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  2. ^ ”Alstonia_macrophylla” at at
  3. ^ Alstonia macrophylla at Globin-Med at and
  4. ^ "Batino / Alstonia macrophylla / DEVIL TREE / HARD ALSTONIA: Philippine Medicinal Herbs / Philippine Alternative Medicine". Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  5. ^ a b ”Alstonia macrophylla” in ”Flora of Sri Lanka” at Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine. ”Alstonia macrophylla” at Globin-Med at and ”Alstonia_macrophylla” at at
  6. ^ ”Alstonia macrophylla” in ”Flora of Sri Lanka” at Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine and M.M.T.N. Gunaratne ”Value Addition to Alstonia Plantations” at Archived 2013-01-20 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 20.2.2013.
  7. ^ Lalith Gunasekera, Invasive Plants: A guide to the identification of the most invasive plants of Sri Lanka, Colombo 2009. ”Alstonia macrophylla” in ”Flora of Sri Lanka” at Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine