Amrul or Indian Sorrel, oxalis corniculata

Amrul or Indian Sorrel (oxalis corniculata, family: oxalidaceae) is an annual or perennial creeping soft herb. Stem is hairy and slender, brown or reddish, rooting at the nodes. It is found in moist situations, near water and in shade.

Leaves are light green, palmately 3-foliate, petiole 1-9 cm long, cuneate at the base, subsessile, glabrous. penduncles 2-9 cm long, puberulous, 1-5 flowered. Leaves taste sour.

Other names: Amrul shak Amboli, Chukatripati, Chukatripotri & Yellow Oxalis (english).
Flower is small and showy, bright yellow in color, grow on leaf axil, funnel-shaped, sepals 5, petals 5, petals .5 cm long, spathulate, apex rounded or emarginate. Flowers bloon from summer to autumn.

Fruit is a capsule, 2 cm long, apex acute, linear-oblong, 5-angled, tomentose. Seeds numerous, brown. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds and cuttings. 

Leaves are eaten as vegetable, The leaf juice is antiscorbutic, and antidote for the intoxicating effect of Datura. It is also used …

Mushok-dana or Musk-mallow, abelmoschus moschatus

Mushok-dana or Musk-mallow (abelmoschus moschatus, family: malvaceae) is a perennial erect herb or undershrub attaining a height of 3 m. Stem is cylindrical and reddish. Young shoots, pedicel and petiole are retrorsely (opposite direction) hairy.

The plant almost looks similar to popular vegetable Okra (abelmoschus esculentus). It is found near the water bodies, fallow lands, roadside areas and forest edges in Bangladesh. It is also found in India as well as Southeast Asia.

The another Bangla name of the plant is Kala-kosturi.

Lower leaves are angular, upper palmately lobed, dark green, oblong-lanceolate, ovate, 20-24 cm long, serrate or dented, hairy on both sides. Leaf-base has a crown-like portion. Petiole is very long. 

Flower axillay, solitary and in terminal clusters. They are big, light yellow with dark purple center, petals 5, unequal; corolla 10 cm across. Epicalyx segments 6-10, linear-lanceolate. Flowering occurs in the rainy season. Flower and fruit can be seen together i…

Motkila or Gin berry, glycosmis pentaphylla

Motkila or Gin berry (glycosmis pentaphylla, family: rutaceae) is a woody shrub with branches, attaining a height of 2-5 m. Bark is yellowish. The leaves are almost like the leaves of Blackberry. In Bangladesh it is found on fallow land and in jungles of rural areas. It is also found in South and Southeast Asia and Australia.
                                    Other names:  Datmajon, Ash-sheora, Daton, Atesshor.

Leaflets 1-5, green, large, entire, lanceolate-oblong, alternate, petioled, aromatic.

Flowers are small, creamy white, pubescent, clustered on terminal cyme. 

Fruit is a berry, small, round, light pink or whitish, fleshy and juicy when ripe. Seeds 1-3. Flowers and fruits are found round the year. The evergreen plant is propagated by seeds and cuttings. 

Bark, root and wood are used in the treatment of acne, itching, worms, fever, cough etc. Leaf juice is useful in liver disease, gum pain, eczema and skin diseases. 

Branches are used as toothbrush. Fruit is edible. The species na…

Shorpogondha or Black snakeroot, rauvolfia serpentina

Shorpogondha or Sarpagandha (rauvolfia serpentina, family: apocynaceae) is a herbaceous shrub with milky juice. The perennial can grow up to 2 m. It is usually found in moist and shady places near the forests of the South and Southeast Asia. 

It is one of the most popular medicinal plants of Indian subcontinent. In Bangladesh, no herbal garden can be imagined without this plant.

Common names: Choto chador, Shorpadoni, Shorpokkhi & Black snakeroot (English).

Leaves are borne in whorls of 3, elliptic-lanceolate, 10-15 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, acuminate, glossy green upside, pale beneath. 

Flowers are terminal, white, reddish at the bottom, corolla tube long, slender, sepals 5, petals 5. Peduncle and sepals are reddish.

Fruit is a drupe, round, .5-1 cm in diameter, blackish when mature. Three different colors of fruits (green, red & black) are seen together in a plant. 

Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds and cuttings. Flowering and fruiting occur in the summer to late autumn…

Jongli badam or Bastard poon tree, sterculia foetida

Jongli badam or Bastard poon tree (sterculia foetida, family: sterculuaceae) is a large deciduous tree, up to 20 m in height, with branches arranged in whorls and spreading horizontally. Trunk is robust and straight. There are eye-like glands on the grey-colored bark. The tree has some resembles with Shimul

Leaves are digitately compound, leaflets 5-8, crowded at the end of branches, elliptic-lanceolate, tip elongated, acuminate, 10-18 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, petiole is very long, about 20 cm, though the length of leaflets are very short, almost sessile.

Flowers are red-yellow or light purple, borne on a axillary panicles. Sepals 5. Flowers bloom is the end of winter or in spring. 

Although the flowers are beautiful but those have a very unpleasant odour. For this reason, the species have been named foetida. Interestingly, flowers have no petals!

Fruit is boat-shaped, woody, red in color, smooth outside, fibrous inside, 1-5 in a group, 10-12 cm long and 5-8 cm wide. Seeds 10-25, 2 c…

Ritha, sapindus saponaria

Ritha or Reetha (sapindus saponaria, family: sapindaceae) is a a medium-sized much branching tree attaining a height of 15 m. Its bark is dark with rough scales. The deciduous tree is originated from tropical America. Nowadays it has been naturalized in Bangladesh as well as tropical areas of Asia. The good looking tree is found in the North-West region of the country.

Leaves are green, 2-6 pairs per pinnae, 40 cm long, terminal leaf absent. Leaflets almost opposite or alternate, elliptic-lanceolate, 5-15 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, petioled, apex emarginate.

After leaving all the leaves in the winter, new leaves arrives in the beginning of spring.

Flowering occurs in the summer. Inflorescence up to 25 cm long. Flowers creamy white, tomentose. Petals 5. Fruit is drupe, solitary or pair, fleshy, subglobose, 1 cm in diameter, glabrous. Fruiting occurs in rainy season. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.

Fibers on inner bark are used for making ropes. Fruits are used as a subst…

Jolpai, elaeocarpus serratus, elaeocarpaceae

Jolpai (elaeocarpus serratus, family: elaeocarpaceae) is a well-known fruit tree of Bangladesh. It is a medium to large-sized evergreen tree with hairy branches. It is mainly found in Indian subcontinent. Almost all the year the red leaves are found on the tree. The tree can be easily recognized by the red leaves.

Leaves are elliptic to lanceolate, 10-15 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, edge deeply dented, glossy green, alternate, acuminate at apex. 

Flowers are very beautiful. They borne in axillary racemes, 8-10 cm long, bear many small creamy-white flowers. Flower blooms in June-July. 

Fruit is a drupe, sour, bronze-colored, about 2.5 cm long. Fruit matures in August-September.

Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
It is planted in gardens and villages for its fruits. Fruit is rich in vitamin C and cures common cold, dyspepsia, gum disease and physical weakness. Very delicious pickles are made from its fruit.

After 5 years of seed sowing, the tree begin to give fruits. It is possible …