Horina or Boro horina, Lepisanthes rubiginosa

Horina or Boro horina (Lepisanthes rubiginosa, family: Sapindaceae) is a small tree with branches, attaining a height of 15 m. It is found in village thickets in Bangladesh. It is also found in South and Southeast Asia and in Australia. The little leafy tree is a beautiful one. It can be planted as an ornamental plant beside roads, in parks and gardens.

Leaves are paripinnate (leaves are in pair in a pinnae), Leaflets 6-12, opposite or almost opposite, pale green in color, ovate-oblong,5-15 cm long and 3-8 cm wide.  

Inflorescence 15-30 cm long. Flowers are sweet-scented, very small, brownish white or yellowish, terminal; peatls 4, sepals 4. These bloom in March-April.

Fruit is round, 1-3-lobed, almost glabrous, 1-1.5 cm long. When ripe, the fruits turn blackish. Before ripening, the fruits gradually turn yellow and red. And this is one of the easiest ways to recognize the tree. 

Fruits are sweet-tasted. Children love these. These are favorite food of squirrels and birds too. Flowers …

Boichi or Madagascar plum, Flacourtia indica

Boichi or Madagascar plum (Flacourtia indica, family: Flacourtiaceae) is a spiny shrub with numerous branches, attaining a height of 2-3 m. Bark is grey and rough. Young leaves and shoots are reddish. There are numerous long and sharp spines all over the body of this leafy shrub. It is found in village thickets, in deep forest and the edge of water bodies in Bangladesh. Globally it is found in many Asian countries, tropical Africa and Madagascar.  
Other names: Baichha, Tamabot, Bunj, Dungkhoir, Beuchi, Kanta-bohuri, Bongkui-kanta, Bon-khoi.

The size and shape of leaves varry from ovate to lanceolate or almost heart-shaped. Those are usually 3-6 cm long, having numerous tiny nerves through the blade, deeply dented, blunt or slightly acute at the end, petioled, alternate. 

Flowers are tiny, yellowish of greenish. They appear from the node of leaves. Female and male flowers are in different plants. Flowering occurs in the end of winter. 

Fruits are round, 2-2.5 cm wide, Immature fruits ar…

Maloti or Malati, Aganosma dichotoma

Maloti-lota or Malati (Aganosma dichotoma, family: Apocynaceae) is a fast-growing large bushy creeper with woody stem. It is planted in parks, garden and botanical garden in Bangladesh. Its original home is Indian subcontinent. It is the iconic flower of rainy season in the country. 
Another name: Gondho maloti

The starry and pure white flowers, the amazing beauty of the leaves, the strong and long life of the creeper, all in all it is a wonderful plant! It should be considered as an essential flower of the rainy season by the tropical gardeners. 

Leaves are beautiful, entire, elliptical, opposite, 8 cm long and 4 cm wide, apex acute. Petiole and leaf nerves are reddish or purplish. 
Through the tendril it can climb up with any support
Flowers are pure white, highly scented, clustered on terminal panicle. Sepals 5, petals 5. Petals are twusted rightwards, looks a lot like a Shiuly (Night jasmine, Nyctanthes arbor-tritis), about 3 cm in diameter. Flowers bloom in rainy season and it cont…

Padauk or Malay padauk, Pterocarpus indicus

Padauk or Malay padauk (Pterocarpus indicus, family:Fabaceae) is a large deciduous tree with spreading and drooping branches, attaining a height of 20-40 m. Bark is almost smooth and grey. In early summer the tree floods its entire body with yellow flowers. But those only last for one day. The next day there are no flowers left on the tree. It is found in the hilly areas of Chottogram Division. It is also found in Myanmar, India, Malaysia as well as other Southeast Asian countries.

Leaves are imparipinnate (having single leaflet at the pinnate's end), glossy green, oval-lanceolate, undulate. Leaflet is 5-9, 8-10 cm long and 4-6 cm wide. 

Flowers are highly scented. Those are small, in terminal inflorescence, yellow-colored. It blooms 3 times a year. 

Fruit is round and flat, papery, 3-5 cm wide, indehiscent, single-seeded. It has feather, and because of this it can float in the air and spread far and wide. Propagation is caused by seeds and cuttings. At the end of winter, the gian…

Topapana or Water lettuce, Pistia stratiotes

Topapana or Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes, family: Araceae) is a free floating round-shaped aquatic plant, attaining a length of 10-15 cm. Its submerged roots remain in clusters. The perennial plant looks like Rose or Cabbage. 
Other Bangla name: Tokapana, Pana, Golap-pana, Boro hodi, Bara-pana.

The stemless small plant is found everywhere in shallow water or in the mud of ditches in Bangladesh. Sometimes they are seen floating in the large colonies. It is also found in Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

Leaves are pale green or yellowish, 4-10 cm long, leaf apex rounded with soft hairs. Occasionally their leaves turn yellow; probably due to lack of nutrients from the soil. This can happen by lacking the water also.

Flowers in spathe, from the center of the leaves. They are yellowish green. Fruit is berry, few seeded.  It blooms in summer. It is propagated by stolon and seeds.

The plant is used in purgative, uretic, asthmatic and skin diseases. Many aquatic insects take refuge …

Binna-ghash or Vetiver grass, Chrysopogon zizanioides

Binna-ghash or Vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides, family: Poaceae) is a perennial aromatic grass, attaining a height of 2 m. Stem is straight. It is found in the water-edges or standing in water all over in Bangladesh. It is also found in South and Southeast Asia.

Other name: Bena khosh-khosh
During the monsoon, when the grass is standing in the water, the green beauty of Bengal gets more beautiful. So as an ornamental plant it can be kept in the aquatic gardens, parks and botanical gardens.

Leaves are long and semi-cylindrical, gradually narrower at the tip. From a distance, of course, in a flowerless state, it looks like Kaash.  

Inflorescence is long, 10-30 cm, and contains many spikelets bearing numerous small yellowish or dark brown flowers. Flowering occus during rainy season. The beautiful grass is propagated by rhizome.

The village people believe that keeping its root in the door will keep the room cool during the summer. A kind of perfume can be made from its root-oil. Th…

Hogla or Southern cattail, Typha domingensis

Hogla or Southern cattail (Typha domingensis, family: Typhaceae) is a aquatic tall grass growing in cluster, attaining a height of 3 m. Stem is simple or terete. The perennial plant is found mostly in Sundarbans, as well as the southern districts in Bangladesh. There they can be seen standing in the water.
Other names: Chel-pata, Kaam, Tara.

It is also found in riverside area, on the edge of cannals and other water bodies of the country. It is also found in India, Northern Africa and Southern Europe. 

Leaves are beautiful, long, semicylindric, clustered at athe base. 
Flowers are small, whitish brown, borne on spikelet inflorescence. Male and female flowers grow on separate inflorescence. Flowers bloom in summer.

Fruits are long, chocolate-colored. When they mature, become divided. The plant is propagated by seeds and gland tubers.

The plant is an economic crop. Mat, fence and roof thach are made of it. It is also used to cover pile of fishes in box which keeps them fresh. Its roots ca…