Showing posts from June, 2016

Mehedi or Henna, Lawsonia inermi

Mehedi or Henna (Lawsonia inermi, family: Lythraceae) is an evergreen bushy shrub or small tree with profuse branches, attaining a height of 2-8 m. It is a very common homestead plant in Bangladesh. The historical plant is native to differnt parts of Asia, Africa and Australasia.
                           Common names: Henna, Hina, Mignonette tree, Egyptian privet.

It is used in jaundice, leucorrhoea, shoulder pain, burning sensation in body, dandruff and insomnia.  

Leaves are elliptical, lanceolate, acuminate at the top and are sub-sessiled; 3-5 cm long and about 1 cm wide.

Flowers are white, small, borne on terminal inflorescence. Petals 6. Flowers bloom from late summer to autumn.

Fruits are small, granular, deep purple or black-colored when ripe. Seeds are numerous, smooth, pyramidal.

In Indian subcontinent including Bangladesh, many women color their palms and foot with crushed leaves in social occasions, especially in Eid-days and marriage ceremony. Many people, particularly the old…

Debdaru, polyalthia longifolia

Debdaru (polyalthia longifolia, family: annonaceae) is an evergreen tree with straight trunk, horizontal branches, smooth and dark bark. It can get a height up to 90 m. 

 Common names: Debdaru, Indian fir tree.

The beautiful tree is native to Indian subcontinent. 

Leaves are glossy green, about 5-20 cm long, lanceolate, with wavy edges. 

The tree is covered with inconspicuous, yellowish green and closely compacted flowers in the spring. It blooms in April.

Immature fruits are green and when ripe they are deep purple or black. 

The three stages of the fruits. 

Wood is aromatic and used to cure burning, piles, urinary problem. Oil extracted from seeds is used in leprosy and other skin diseases. Its seeds and bark are used in fever. 

It can reduce noise pollution and can increase the beauty of a road. For this it is commonly planted in Bangladesh. 

Its timber is light yellow and used to make plywood, match box and packing box.

It can stay alive up to 600 years in its natural habitats.


Mahogany, Swietenia mahagoni

Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni, family: Meliaceae) is a medium-sized semi-deciduous treeattaining a height of 30-35 m. It has short but strong base, large canopy, many heavy branches and dense shade. It is native to United States and the Caribbean islands. It is grown as an ornamental tree in tropical regions of the world. Its wood is the first choice for making high-quality furniture throughout the world.

The bark is furrowed and dark gray in color. In Bangladesh, it is planted as ornamental tree beside roads, in parks and is planted by name of social forestry.
Common names: Mahagni, Mahogany, West Indian mahogany.

The leaves are compound, 60 cm long,leaflets4-10 pairs, each lance-shaped leaflet 20 cm long and 5 cm wide; terminal leafletless. Young leaves are blood red, quickly becoming a bright, light green and darkening as they mature.

The flowers are very fragrant, greenish-yellow, 6-8 mm across, borne on axillary panicles. Flowers are unisexual and the tree is monoecious.

The brown frui…

Mahua or Madhuca, Madhuca longifolia

Mahuaor Madhuca (Madhuca longifolia, family: Sapotaceae) is a medium sized to large deciduous tree with spreading and round crown. The plant is native to Indian subcontinent. In Bangladesh, it is found in the Hilly areas of Chottogram. Mahua is a slow growing species. It can attain a height of up to 20 m. The trunk is small. Bark is almost smooth, gray or brown with cracks on it. 
Common names : Mahua, Madhuca, Mahwa, Butter tree.

Youngleaves are bronze-colored, mature ones are dark green. Leaves become 10-15 cm long, elliptical-oblong, tip pointed.

The species is one of the most beautiful trees in Bangladesh. For this it is generally planted in parks and gardens.

Flowers are fleshy, borne at the tip of the twigs in clusters, creamy in color. Sepals 4, petals 8-9. The fragrant flowers bloom in the spring in Bangladesh.

The fruit is a berry, 25 to 50 mm long; green when raw and yellow when ripe. Egg-shaped fruit contains 2-4 shiny seeds. Propagation of the plant is caused by sedds.

The flowe…

Nunia, Common purslane, Portulaca oleracea

Nunia or Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea, family: Portulacaceae) is an annual herb with soft branches, attaining a height of 25-40 cm. Its stem is purplish, smooth. The succulent is found in different parts of North Africa, Middle East, South and Southeast Asia to Australasia.    

Common names: Common purslane, Pigweed, Little hogweed, Redroot, Moss rose.

Alternate leaves are green, thick, small, oval, narrow at the petiole.

Flowering occurs mainly in the summer and rainy season. Yellow flower blooms early in the morning; petals 4-5. Flowers are up to 6 mm wide.

It grows as weed in fallow land, roadside and the margin of the crop field in Bangladesh.

Seeds are formed in a tiny pod, which opens when the seeds are mature. Propagation is caused by seeds.

It is emollient and stomachic. Leaves are eaten as vegetables. 

Kochuripana, Water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes

Kochuripana or Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes, family: Pontederiaceae) is an aquatic plant with short stem and is native to tropical and sub-tropical South America. It may rise above the surface of the water as much as 1 meter in height. The free-floating perennial is found in the rivers, canals and ditches in Bangladesh.

Common names: Water hyacinth, Floating water hyacinth, Lilac devil, Nile lily, Water orchid, Water violet.

Broad, thick, glossy leaves are ovate or rhomboid, glabrous, 10-20 cm across, that come out from the stem. Root is fibrous, freely hanging, purple-black in color.

Inflorescence is long and erect, bears of 8-15 conspicuously attractive flowers with six mauve or purple-colored petals (each up to 4 cm long), mostly painted with yellow and violet colors. 

In Bangladesh, it is regarded as the most troublesome aquatic weed to crops and water-transportation. Some parts of the plant, especially the green parts and flowers are eaten as vegetable in Southeast Asia. T…

Amla-lota, Fox grape, Cayratia trifolia

Amal lota or Fox grape (Cayratia trifolia, family: Vitaceae) is a creeping herb with soft stem and many branches and has trifoliated leaves. The perennial climber is native to Indian subcontinent as well as several regions of Asia and Australia. It grows here and there in Bangladesh. 

Common names : Omallat, Omol-lota (Bangla), Fox grape, Bush grape, Three-leaved wild vine.

Leaves are trifoliate, 4-10 cm long with 2-3 cm long petiole. Leaf edges are serrated.

Flowers are white, small, borne on cyme inflorescence. Flower blooms in summer and rainy season.

Fruits are juicy, blackish when ripe, nearly round, 1 cm in diameter.

The plant is propagated by seeds. New shoots may come out from old root also. 

Different parts of the plant is used in the treatment of snake bite and diabetes. Roots mixed with pepper are applied on tumor. Leaves and seeds also used to various medicines.