One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any plant of the genus Alstonia (family Apocynaceae), comprising trees and shrubs with milky sap found in most tropical areas, especially Asia and Australasia, some of which yield a soft, light timber; the wood itself. Also (in form Alstonia): the genus itself.
2Any of various medicinal preparations made from the bark or latex of plants of the genus Alstonia, especially the tree A. scholaris of South and South East Asia, and the Australian shrub A. constricta.
Early 19th century (in an earlier sense).
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