Ailanthus triphysa (Dennsted) Alston in Trimen, Handb. Fl. Ceylon. 6:41 (1931).

Latin for 'three bladders', referring to the fruits.

Adenanthera triphysa Dennstedt
Ailanthus malabarica Candolle

Trees, evergreen, usually 15-20(-45) m tall. Leaves pinnate, 30-60 cm; leaflets 6-17(--30) pairs; petiolule pubescent, 5-7 mm; blades ovate-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, 15-20 x 2.5-5.5 cm, thinly leathery, base broadly cuneate or slightly rounded, oblique, margin entire, apex acuminate, abaxially shortly pubescent or glabrous. Panicles axillary, shortly pubescent, 25-50 cm; bracts small, ovate or deltoid, 5-7 mm, early caducous. Pedicel ca. 2 mm. Calyx abaxially pilose, 5-lobed, lobes shorter than 1 mm, deltoid, as long as tube. Petals 5, glabrous or nearly so, ca. 2.5 x 1-1.5 mm, valvate. Stamens 10, inserted at base of disk; filaments gracile, curved and folded in buds, lower part pilose, 1-3 mm in female, 3-6 mm in males; anthers ca. 1 mm in male, shorter in female. Carpels 3, glabrous, 2-2.5 mm; styles free or connate at base; stigmas 3-lobed, lobes shield-shaped, ca. 2 mm wide. Samarium 4.5-8 x 1.5-2.5 cm, both tops slightly obtuse. Seeds flat, surrounded by wing. [Flora of China]

A light demanding Asian tree found in wet evergreen climax forests. Montane regions, sparse or thick woods, roadsides. Altitude: 60-1500 m. Prefers well drained light/sandy soils.

The resin is used for medicinal purposes in India. The timber is also of value; being light, white and soft, it is easily worked and used for making boats, matches, fishing floats and weaponry accessories e.g. sword handles and spear sheaths. The resin (halmaddi) is also used in the manufacture of traditional Nag Champa incense sticks. The (scented) resin of Ailanthus triphysa is applied to the split bamboo sticks after which the sticks are again covered in powdered sandal wood and plumeria pollen. The resin has the advantage of remaining in a semi solid pliable state as it absorbs moisture from the air. It is also used in the manufacture of other resinous incense. A dye obtained from the plantí»s leaves stains satin black. Aromatic oils are obtained from the bark. The plant roots, leaves, bark and gum exudates are used as medicine in India. A useful shade provider. Leaf litter of A. triphysa on decomposition restores soil fertility. A tree often planted for aesthetic purposes. Used as live stakes for supporting black pepper (Piper nigrum). The dried bark and gum exudates are burnt as incense.

From India, Sri Lanka and Southern China(Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, S Yunnan) to New Guinea and Australia.

Local names
China: Lingnanchouchun.
English: White palle.
India (Tamil): Mattipal, Peru, Perumaram.