World For Nature

 West Bengal ST

West Bengal – Chatim

Chatim Tree

Common Name: Blackboard Tree/ Indian Devil Tree/Saptaparni

Local Name: Chatim

Scientific Name: Alstonia scholaris

Description: Chatim is a medium-sized evergreen tree. The leaves of the tree are found in bunches of seven around the stem. The bark of the tree is used as a traditional medicine to treat diarrhea, dysentery, asthma, etc. The students’ blackboards, slates, and writing tables are also made from the tree’s bark. The tree branches also provide favorable breeding sites for the wild bees to make their hives.

Cultural Significance: The Chatim is also of great cultural significance. Traditionally, the Chancellor awarded its leaves to scholars and teachers during convocation ceremonies by the Visva-Bharati University. However, due to environmental degradation, this practice has been reduced to handing over a single leaf to the Vice-Chancellor of the University.

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