Asor-gota, microcos paniculata

Asor-gota (microcos paniculata, family: tiliaceae) is a  small to medium-sized tree, sometimes shrubby in nature, with many branches. In Bangladesh it is found in the wilderness, specially in the hilly forest regions.

Other Bangla names: Potka, Pichundi, Asor, Fottas, Datoi.

Leaves are dark green (new leaves are shinny bronze) with conspicuous veins and midrib, alternate, short-petioled, oblong-lanceolate, slightly serrate, 10-20 cm long and 6-10 cm wide, apex acute.

Flowers are small, yellowish white, long-peduncled, sepals 5, petals 5, clustered on terminal panicle. Flowers bloom in summer to autumn.

Fruit is a berry, small, 1 cm in diameter, smooth, blackish. Flowers and fruits can be seen at a time on the tree. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.

Flowers and leaves are used in cough, indigestion and skin diseases. Village children play with its fruits as the bullet of Bamboo-made toy gun.

Nilkanthi or Blue Snakeweed, stachytarpheta urticifolia

Nilkanthi or Blue Snakeweed (stachytarpheta urticifolia, family: verbenaceae) is a semi-erect herb with branches. Stem is quadrangular and slightly woody. It can get a height of 2 m. In Bangladesh it is found in Chittagong Hill Tracts and greater Sylhet area. The beautiful flowering plant has not yet become popular in the country.

The propagation of the perennial plant is caused by seeds. Due to its dazzling purple or bluish flowers the plant is very popular throughout the tropical regions of the world. 

Serrated-leaves are shinny green, simple, opposite, elliptic, 4-7 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, sessile. Midrib and veins clearly visible.

Flowers are very attractive, scented, purple in color with white mark in the centre, sepals 5, petals 5, borne on very long terminal inflorescence, quite curved, looks like snake tail or rat tail. Flowering occurs in the rainy season. Fruit is a capsule, oblong, blackish.

It has some medicinal values. In Bangladesh different parts of the plant is used in …

Kurchi or Girimollika, holarrhena antidysenterica

Kurchi or Girimollika (holarrhena antidysenterica, family: apocynaceae) is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree with branches, attaining a height of 6-7 m. Its bark is not smooth and slightly grey in color.

The tree is one of the most beautiful flowering plants in Bangladesh. It is mainly found in the hilly areas as well as Sal forests in the country. The loving tree is native to Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh.

Leaves are simple, green, glabrous, opposite, nearly sessile, elliptic-lanceolate with pointed apex, 4-20 cm long and 8-10 cm wide. Flowers are white, 2-4 cm wide, slightly tubular at base, scented, clustered. Sepals 5, petals 5. 

Flowers bloom profusely at the beginning of spring. In this time no leaves can be found in the tree!    Fruits are cylindrical, borne in pair, 20-35 cm long, many-seeded.

Propagation of the plant is caused by air layering and root sucker. It is grown in garden and parks as an ornamental plant.

The tree is full with medicinal values. Its bar…

Palan, Scarlet wrightia, wrightia coccinea

Palan or Scarlet wrightia (wrightia coccinea, family: apocynaceae) is a small deciduous tree with branches, attaining a height of 8-10 m. The original home of the lovely small tree is Southeast Asia. 'Palam' is the another Bangla name of the plant. 

The tree is very beautiful and for that it can be planted as an ornamental plant beside roads and in parks and gardens. In Bangladesh, it is found in hilly areas of greater Sylhet.  

Leaves are deep green, ovoid-lanceolate, apex elongated but obtuse; opposite, petiole short, 2-3 pairs in each pinnae, terminal leaf missing, 7-12 cm long and 3-4 cm wide.

At the end of the spring flowers bloom with new leaves. Flower is very attractive, scentless, 3-4 cm wide, scarlet in color, showy. Sepals 5, petals 5. Terminal inflorescence bears 2-3 flowers. 

Flowers bloom in March-May. Petals are leathery. For this reason, may be, the flowers have been seen dry in the tree for a long time.

Fruit is pod, 15-30 cm long, in pair, blackish with white…

Bon-moricha, Pigeon berry, rivina humilis

Bon-moricha or Pigeon berry (rivina humilis, family: petiveriaceae) is an erect perennial herb with soft but slightly woody at base, attaining 1 m of height. The plant is easily recognizable by its brilliant red-colored fruits. 

It can be planted in gardens and parks as an ornamental plant. The original home of the plant is USA (Florida to Texas). It is now naturalized in Bangladesh and India. 

Leaves are dark green, simple, petioled, 2.5 cm long; alternate, ovate-oblong with narrow and elongated apex.  

The hermaphrodite flowers are small, white with pedicel, on axillary, rarely terminal, many flowered racemes. Flowering occurs from August to April in Bangladesh.

Fruit is berry, almost round, attractive, blood red.

Daadmordon or Ringworm bush, senna alata

Daadmordon or Ringworm bush (senna alata, caesalpiniaceae) is a tall erect shrub, attaining a height of 2.5 m. Stem is thick and yellowish. It is found in the wilderness in Bangladesh. It is also found in the tropical areas round the world. 

As an ornamental plant it is planted in gardens and parks. The bushy shrub is a very popular medicinal plant in the country as well as Indian subcontinent. 

Leaves compound, 25-60 m long, leaflets 6-10 pairs, oblong, opposite, 6-10 cm long 4-5 cm wide, sometimes slightly orcordate at the tip, sessile. 

Flowers are borne on upward terminal raceme, from bottom to top, 15-20 cm long. Flowers are brilliant yellow with brownish shade, 2-5 cm wide, petals 5, several different-sized stamens in the middle. Flowers remain covered with yellow bracts. Flowers bloom in autumn to winter.   

Fruit is a pod, quadrangular, 10-20 cm long, blackish brown when ripe. Seeds are ovoid, toothed.

The plant is propagated by seeds. Its leaves are used in common cold, bronchi…

Shaluk or Blue water lily, nymphaea nouchali

Shaluk or Blue water lily (nymphaea nouchali, family: nymphaceae) is an aquatic plant grows from underwater soil. The plant is found in ponds, canals, beels and jheels everywhere in Bangladesh along with Water lily, Keshordam, Water spinach, Bladderwort and other aquatic plants. 

Leaves are shiny green, purplish or reddish beneath, round or ovate, irregularly serrated, 15-32 cm long and 10-25 cm wide, floating on water. The length of petiole and pedicel increases with the rise of water level. 

Flower is purplish and slightly scented. Petals 10-30, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, acute, arranged in three layers. Stamens numerous, 10-50, yellow in color. Petiole is 20-150 cm long. Sepals usually green, sometimes dull red, often marked with darker dots and lines. The flower is little bit smaller than Shapla, Water lily. Flower blooms at night. It remains open till noon. Flowering occurs in the rainy season to late autumn (July to November).

Fruit a spongy berry, 4.5 in diameter, ripening un…