It is a mid canopy tree up to 40 m in height with pagoda shaped crown. Its simple leaves are arranged in whorls, exudes latex when broken. The trunk is deeply fluted and buttressed. It produces creamy, fragrant flowers. Common Pulai is native to Singapore and self-sown Common Pulai can sometimes be seen in secondary forests.
Both Common Pulai (Alstonia angustiloba) and Indian Pulai (Alstonia scholaris) are commonly used in landscape planting. Other than the difference in flower colours, A. scholaris with greenish yellow flowers and A. angustiloba with creamy white flowers, A. scholaris can be differentiated from A.angustiloba by the stipule at the base of the leaf petiole. Looking at the fallen dried leaves, A. scholaris has side veins 0.1 to 0.25 inches apart (0.25 to 0.64 cm apart) with distinct reticulations between them. While in A. angustiloba, the sides veins are 0.1 inches or less apart ( 0.25 cm or less apart) without visible reticulations between them.