Shohosro-beli or Chinese Glory Bower, clerodendrum chinense

Shohosro-beli or Chinese Glory Bower (clerodendrum chinense, family: verbenaceae) is a perennial shrub with quadrangular stem, attaining a height of 1-1.5 m. Usually, many plants are seen together in wilderness in Bangladesh. As an ornamental plant it is planted in parks and gardens in the country. 

Leaves are large and thin, 10-15 cm long and 7-12 cm wide, ovate-cordate, light green, hairy, deeply serrated, long petioled. Lower side of the leaf is light brown with red shade. 

Summer and Rainy seasons are the flowering time of this evergreen shrub. Flowers are clustered on round head at the end of branches. Flowers are white with pink shade, multipetaled, sweet-scented, 2.5 cm across. 

Flowers are very much like Beli (Arabian jasmine, jasminum sambac). The fragrance of the flowers are very much like that flower too. That’s why the Bangla name of the plant is Hajar-beli. 

It is believed that the original home of the plant is China. 

The propagation of the plant is caused by cuttings. I…

Tridhara or coatbuttons, tridax procumbens

Tridhara or coatbuttons (tridax procumbens, family: compositae) is a perennial herb with soft, hairy and weak stem. It can get a height about 1 m. The plant grows on fallow land and roadside areas as weed in Bangladesh. It can be planted in garden as an ornamental flowering herb.

Leaves are light green, opposite, short petioled, ovate-lanceolate with divided or dented and hairy edge.

Flowers are beautiful, showy, yellow in color, head, set on very long pedicel. In the head there are five ray florets and the centre there are closely-knit small round disk florets. Flowering occurs round the year.

Flower and fruit can be seen in same plant at a time. Fruit is cotton-like. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds; those can be spread far and wide through the air. It is a medicinal plant. It is used in different kinds of diseases.

Other common names: Tunaki, Tridaxa, Tridokkho.

Jhajhidam or Bladderwort, utricularia flexuosa

Jhajhidam or Bladderwort (utricularia flexuosa, family: lentibulariaceae) is a submerged and rootless herb with slender stem and branches. The aquatic plant is carnivorous It is is piled down slightly below the water.

Leaves are composite, slender or linear, light green in color. Each node of the leaf has small bladder which catch the insects.

Flowering occurs in the rainy season to late autumn. At this time the flowers are seen standing on the water. Each upright stalk contains 1-7 flowers, yellow-colored, showy, petioled, petals 2, upper lip is smaller than the lower one. Stamens 2-4, bulbed.

Fruits are round, capsule. The propagation of the water weed is caused by seeds and stem. 

The water weed is found in the beel-jhil, canal and waterlogged areas in Bangladesh. The plant is also known as Pani saibol.

Kulekhara or Talmakhna, hygrophila auriculata

Kulekhara or Talmakhna (hygrophila auriculata, family: acanthaceae) is an annual thorny herb with straight stem. The plant is very popular as a medicinal plant in Bangladesh as well as Indian subcontinent. 

Leaves and thorns grow from each node. Outer leaves are longer than the inner ones. Both leaves and thorns remain in upward direction. 

Flowers are bright violet or red, sometimes whitish with soft and minor hair. Flower blooms in winter. The plant grows in cropland and damp lands or at the edge of ditches. 

Its root, leaves and seeds are used in gonorrhea, jaundice, rheumatic pain and urinary problem.

It is also known as Kanta kalika.

Chondona, Chandana, macaranga peltata

Chondona or Chandana (macaranga peltata, family: euphorbiaceae) is an evergreen tree with profuse branches and nice crown. The tree usually gets 12 m height. Young parts of the tree are hairy but smooth. Its leaves are very spectacular. In Bangladesh the plant is planted on the roadside areas and parks and gardens for this reason. 

Leaves are big, dark green, broadly ovate to orbicular, apex pointed, extended slightly, 15-20 cm long and 12-18 cm wide, alternate, smooth upside, glandular beneath.

Veins and midribs are palmately arranged on blade. Petiole is very long and it is strangely connected to the lower part of the blade.

Flowers are small, creamy white on raceme inflorescence. Male flowers (in the pic) grow from the axil of large bracts. 

Fruit is capsule, round, orange-red. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. Flowers appear in March-April and fruit in December-January. 

By the by, the species name 'peltata' comes from its shield-like leaves.

Pakur, ficus infectoria

Pakur (ficus infectoria, family: moraceae) is a large and beautiful tree from Fig family with spreading crown. The height and the shape of the tree is very much like its relatives-- Ashoth and Bot. Bark is gray and smooth. Wood is also gray-colored. The large tree is an epiphytic one. The deciduous tree with aerial prop roots is grown on the roadside areas, in parks and the premises of temple and by village huts as shadow tree.

Leaves are dark green, entire, thin, ovate-oblong or slightly heart-shaped, 8-10 cm long and 5-7 cm wide, almost like the leaves of Ashoth, but have not any elongated tail-like part at the tip and also not broad and long than that; petioles 5-7 cm long. The leaves and young shoots contain milky latex. 

Flowers remain inside fruit like all other figs in this family. Fruits called figs grow in cluster on branches. Figs are round. At the end of rainy season, the fruit becomes ripe. 

Needless to say, the fruits are very favorite food to birds. The seeds spread on o…

Sultanchapa, Punnag or Alexandrian laurel ball tree, calophyllum inophyllum

Sultanchapa, Punnag or Alexandrian laurel ball tree (calophyllum inophyllum, family: clusiaceae) is a medium-sized evergreen tree with profuse branches, attaining a height of about 12 m. The good-looking plant is seen in the coastal areas and Sundarban in Bangladesh. Its common English name is Alexandrian laurel ball tree.

Leaves are smooth, shiny, leathery, dark green, 8-16 cm long, 6-10 cm wide, elliptic, tip rounded or obcordate (cordate at the tip); veins parallel, numerous, hardly visible. 

Flowers are white, showy, fragrant, borne on axillary raceme (10-15 cm long), with many yellow stamens at centre.

 It blooms in the rainy season.  

The fruit is a drupe, round-shaped, 3-4 cm in diameter, yellow when ripe. 

Propagation of the slow growing plant is caused by seeds and cuttings. It is grown in parks and gardens as an ornamental plant. 

Different parts of he plant are used in tumour, arthritis and heart disease. It is depurative and purifies blood.

The tree is found in East Africa …