This species is closely related to Alangium platinifolium[
Alangium begoniifolium (Roxb.) Baill.
Alangium kenyense Chiov.
Alangium octopetalum Hanes ex Blanco
Alangium platanifolium triangulare Wangerin
Guettarda jasminiflora Blanco
Karangolum chinense (Lour.) Kuntze
Marlea affinis Decne.
Marlea begoniifolia Roxb.
Marlea chinensis (Lour.) Druce
Marlea virgata Zoll.
Stelanthes solitarius Stokes
Stylidium bauthas Lour. ex B.A.Gomes
Stylidium chinense Lour.
Stylis chinensis (Lour.) Poir.
Alangium chinense is an evergreen tree growing up to 24 metres tall in the tropics, though at the limits of its range, or when grown in temperate areas, it is unlikely to exceed 2 metres[
]. The bole can be up to 30cm in diameter with small buttresses[
One of the basic herbs of Chinese herbalism, this species is sometimes cultivated and is commonly harvested from the wild. It is also utilized medicinally in Africa, and supplies wood for local use. It has the potential for use in reforestation projects and is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
East tropical Africa; E. Asia - China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia.
Upland thickets in W. China[
]. Open places around villages at elevations of 300 - 2,400 metres in Nepal[
]. Disturbed lowland and montane forests at elevations up to 2,000 metres in Africa and 3,000 metres in the Himalayas[
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Alangium chinense is a plant mainly of subtropical and tropical climates - it is unlikely to be hardy outside of the mildest regions of the temperate zone. The plant is not very frost tolerant, but although top growth will be killed back in all but the mildest winters, the plant will usually resprout again from the base in the spring and will then usually flower in the summer[
]. Forms obtained from the more northery limits of its range, and from higher elevations are more likely to succeeds in the temperate zone[
Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil[
]. Requires full sun and a sheltered position[
The flowers are sweetly scented[
The plant does not require pruning[
Plants can be coppiced[
This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs[
]. The roots, bark and leafy twigs are often used in traditional medicine in Africa[
The roots and the stems are a blood tonic, carminative, contraceptive and purgative[
]. They are used in the treatment of stomach pains, rheumatism, numbness, traumatic injuries, wounds and snakebites[
]. The root powder is used to treat headaches[
A decoction of the leafy shoots is said to be tonic[
], and is drunk to treat mental illness[
A paste of the roots is applied to the area around dislocated bones to help them setting[
Bark macerations are used for the treatment of skin diseases and elephantiasis[
The alkaloid anabasin isolated from the root of Alangium chinense exerted a significant neuromuscular blocking effect on isolated rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations and also showed a depolarizing effect on isolated frog sartorius muscles[
The plant is grown as a live fence and along farm borders[
An oil extracted from the seeds is used for lighting lamps[
The heartwood varies in colour from white to grey and shades of brown; it is not distinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is straight. The wood is soft, it air dries well without checking, works well, bends easily and takes a good finish. It is not durable and should not be used for exterior purposes, especially when in contact with the ground[
]. In Africa, the wood is used for carvings and scabbards of swords and knifes. It is also used in arm ornaments. The wood is used in Asia in building as beams, for flooring, furniture, cabinet work, inlaying, carving, bobbins, spindles, shuttles, rice pestles, tool handles, walking sticks, gunstocks and handicraft articles[
Seed - we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in sand in a frame[