Showing posts from 2017

Keteli or Creeping thistle, Cricus arvensis

Keteli or Creeping thistle (Cricus arvensis, family:  Asteraceae) is an erect perennial herb, attaining a height of 40-120 cm. It grows on cropland or on the edge of lands in Bangladesh. Its stem and leaves are covered with cobwebby hairs. Spiny leaves are simple, dented, unevenly wavy, sessile, usually 7-10 cm long and 1-3 cm wide.

Other name: Kanta dudhley, Shilkata, Logakata.

Flowers are small, pink, borne on head. Single flower is soft as a feather. Male and female flowers bloom on separate inflorescences. The infloresence bearing male flowers is round and the one bearing female flowers is oblong.

The fruit is an achene, having brown pappus and looking glaucous and glabrous. Mature seeds are cotton-like fiber which can spread far and wide. 

It is mostly found in the rural areas of the country. By the by, the flowering time of the plant is spring.

Shinduri bij or Achiote, Bixa orellana

Shinduri bij or Achiote (Bixa orellana, family: Bixaceae) is an evergreen shrub or small tree with few branches and dense foliage. Dye extracted from seed is used to color ointment. Its original home is tropical America. Red Indians paint their body and lips by the color obtain from its seeds.

Shinny leaves are green, heart-shaped with pointed apex, veins and midribs are clear; 10-18 cm long and 6-12 cm wide, alternate, petiole, 5-7 cm long. 

Flowers are very attractive, showy, purple-white, 5 cm across, borne on upright terminal panicles, 7-12 cm long; sepals 5, petals 5, with many stamens. Flower blooms in Autumn-winter.

Fruits are also attractive. They are globose, 3-5 cm across, covered with soft reddish prickles. Seeds covered with a thick red pulp which yields a valuable dye. Leaf, root and seed are used in preventing fever, gonorrhea, jaundice, dysentery and urinary problem. 

The plant is propagated by seeds. In Bangladesh it is planted in gardens and parks for fruits and also f…

Roti, Kuch or Jequirity, Abrus precatorius

Roti, Kuch or Jequirity (Abrus precatorius, family: Fabaceae) is a deciduous creeping woody herb. It grows naturally on fallow lands and beside canals and ponds. Nowadays it has been rare in Bangladesh. In epic Mahabharata and Indian classical poetry it is known as Gunja.

Leaves are compound; leaflets 10-20 cm on a rachis, opposite, tastes sweet. Blades are oblong, midrib clearly visible. Flowers are small, pinkish white. Flowers bloom in summer.

Fruits are bean-like. When the bean dried up, it burst. Seeds are round, brilliant red but have black mark at the top. All the seeds are almost of the same weight and shape. The extensive creeper is propagated by seeds.

Other names: Rotti, Rottika, Lalkuch, Roktokuch, Rokta, Shonakuri, Churamoni, Tamrika, Shangushtha, Gunja.

Fruit seeds are germicidal. These are used as anti-cancer medicines and laxatives. The seeds are also used in abortion. Roots and leaves are used in diarrhea, dysentery and skin diseases. it quenches thirst and causes pers…

Bottlebrush or Lemon bottlebrush, Melaleuca citrina

Bottlebrush or Lemon bottlebrush (Melaleuca citrina, family: Myrtaceae) is a medium-sized evergreen tree with profuse branches, sometimes shrubby in nature and semi-deciduous or completely deciduous. It is famous for its beautiful drooping branches and brilliant red 'bottlebrush'-like flowers. 

Leaves are narrow, lanceolate, alternate, about 3-6 cm long and 1 cm wide, without pedicel, green or silvery green. Flowers are small and bloom on spike inflorescence. Stamens are dark red, numerous and bigger than petals. Flower appears round the year. Tiny fruits contain numerous seeds.

Propagation is by air layering and seeds. As decorative plant it is planted in the park and gardens in Bangladesh.

If crushed, leaves emit a kind of aroma that scented like lemon. That's why the species name of the plant is 'citrina'.

The leafy and gorgeous flowering tree is a must-planted tree in Indian subcontinent's parks and gardens as well as tropical gardens of the planet. By the …

Bon tamak or Wild tobacco, Nicotiana plumbaginifolia

Bon tamak or Wild tobacco (Nicotiana plumbaginifolia, family: Solanaceae) is an erect herb with branches attaining a height of 60-70 cm. There are many branches below rather than the top. The plant grows here and there, specially in sugarcane, corn and sesame fields and on the village street as weed in Bangladesh.

Leaves look like tobacco (nicotiana tabacum) but smaller than that. Leaves are green in color, ovate-oblong or lanceolate-oblong, 25-30 cm long, hairy, viscose.

Flowers are white with light pink shade, corolla tubular, sepals 5, petals 5. Flower grows as single from lea f axil. Flower blooms round the year. 

The fruits are covered with 10 permanent veins. Seeds are small, black in color, upper part wrinkled. 

The hairy perennial plant is a medicinal one. Leaf, stem and seed are used in allergy, phlegm, asthma, rheumatism, worm and louse infection and eye disease.

Dudhia or Shet kerui, Dentella repens

Dudhia or Shet kerui (Dentella repens, family: Rubiaceae) is an annual herb with soft slender stem. It creeps along the ground and spreads around. Leaves are entire, thick and juicy, elliptic but pointed at both ends, 1 cm long. 

Funnel-shaped flowers are solitary, small, nearly sessile, petals 5-lobed, 1 cm long, absolute white in color. Flowers bloom in the rainy season. 

It is grown as weed on fallow land and at the edge of water bodies. The plant helps to prevent erosion of land. By the by, the plant's species name 'repens' means spreading or creeping.

Other Bangla names : Shadaphuli, Shada jabri, Bhuipat.

Lal verenda, Jatropha gossypifolia

Lal verenda or Bellyache bush (Jatropha gossypifolia, family : Euphorbiaceae) is a shrub with adhesive on whole body attaining a height of 1-2 m. The plant's whole body-color is reddish and its young leaves are the same. For this reason it is called Lal verenda in Bangla.

Leaves are palmately compound, 3-lobbed, each 10-2 cm long, blackish red (matures are greenish), viscose, long petioled. Flower blooms in rainy season. They are small, red, clustered in terminal panicle. Sepals 5, petals 5.

Immature fruit is green, yellow when ripe, 3-chambered. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. The plant is full of herbal qualities. Oil extracted from it is used in pain. 

Genus name gossypifolia means cotton-like leaves.

Keshordam or Creeping water primrose, Ludwigia adscendens

Keshordam or Creeping water primrose (Ludwigia adscendens, family: Onagraceae) is a floating or creeping herb with spongy bladders at the nodes. Its stems are soft and juicy. It grows on water or on the edge of water bodies along with Shapla, Shaluk, Kolmi-lota, Maloncho and other aquatic plants. Its a very common aquatic flowering plant in Bangladesh. In addition, it is found in the subcontinent and extending through South China and Malaysia to North Australia. 
Other Bangla names: Malcha, Malsi, Panidoga, Diohenchi.

Stems are usually smooth but when grown on the soil it will be hairy. Leaves are shinny green, broadly oblong-elliptic, glabrous, alternate, 2.5-5 cm long, apex obtuse or rounded, veins and midrib are very clear. 

The flower is one of the most beautiful flowers in Bangladesh. It blooms from rainy season to late autumn. Flowers are conspicuous, white with yellow eye, petals 5, obovate; sepals 5, wide open, stamens 8.

Fruit is a capsule, dehiscent, Seeds are pale brown, num…

Shapla or Water Lily, Nymphaea pubescens

Shapla or Water Lily (Nymphaea pubescens, family: Nymphaeceae) is a common water plant and national flower of Bangladesh. The plant grows from underwater soil. It is found in ponds, canals, beels and jheels along with Kolmi-lota, Keshordam, Chondromala, Chandmala, Maloncho, Jhajhidam and other Lilies in the country. The lovely aquatic plant is also found in Indian subcontinent as well as Southeast Asia. 

Petiole is very very long : 60-70 cm. Leaves are round or ovate, floating on water, 15-45 cm long, edge dentate and wavy, upper side bright green and lower side reddish violet

Flower is white, reddish, or bluish. Sepals 4, elliptical-ovate, persistent, 3-9 cm long, outer side green, vertically striped; inner side bluish white. Numerous stamens surrounded the pistil at the centre of flower.

Flower usually blooms at night during rainy season. Fruit is globose, glabrous, with granular seeds inside.

It is used in dysentery, cough, vomiting, fever, gall and heart diseases. It helps the grow…

Konokchura, peltophorum pterocarpum

Konokchura (peltophorum pterocarpum, family : fabaceae) is a medium-sized deciduous tree with profuse foliage, reaching up to 18 m in height. Its main trunk is steep, gray and smooth. The branches are divided into many parts, densely adjusted and shadowy.

Dark green leaves are small, elliptic, pinnately compound, rachis 30-45 cm long. In summer, full canopy cover with yellow flowers. Flowers are brilliant yellow, clustered on terminal inflorescence. Sepal 5, petals 5. Flowers are very fragrant.

The fruit is flattened, copper-colored, a lot like a shield, long lasting. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. Saplings can be easily made from seeds.

Its original home is Andaman Archipelago, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Australia. It is a fast growing tree. So it is suitable for planting as a flower tree. It is planted in gardens and on roadside as an ornamental tree in Bangladesh. The tree is seen in the roads and parks in Dhaka. Its log is used as firewood. Wood is also used to make fu…

Shegun, Teak, Tectona grandis

Shegun or Teak (Tectona grandis, family : Verbenaceae) is a lofty deciduous slow growing tree up to 25-30 m of height with few branches at the top and fluted trunk at the base. It is a tree of South and Southeast Asia. The tree is highly valued for its superb timber used to make different kinds of furni-ture. Teak is one of the best woods in the world. Like other countries it is planted as a ommercial tree in Bangladesh. However, it is also planted in the park, botanical gardens as an ornamental tree. The beautiful tree can be planted by rows on the highway.

In winter it leaves its leaves completely. New leaves grow in the beginning of spring. Leaves are opposite, broadly elliptic, pointed at the end, 20-70 cm long, green, rough above, yellowish beneath, hairy. In the rainy season, white-colored and fragrant flowers cover the entire canopy. Flowers are small, borne on the large terminal panicle. Panicle is seen to be 1-3 feet tall. 

The fruit is quadrangular, 3 cm in diameter; bark is…

Ashari-lota or Asaria, Capparis zeylanica

Ashari-lota or Asaria (Capparis zeylanica, family : Capparaceae) is a thorny woody profusely branched creeper. The plant grows on fallow land, especially in damp jungle in Bangladesh.

Other Bangla names : Kalokra, Kalkeya, Kelekra.

Leaves are simple, green, petioled, alternate, ovate, 4.5-7.5 cm and 3-4 cm wide. Flowers are white to pink, borne on axillary lateral inflorescence. Sepals 8, arranged in two layers. Stamens numerous, look like a cat's mustache, gradually change color from white to pink to deep pink. Flower blooms in February-March. Fruit is a berry, smooth, 5-7 cm long. The seeds remain inside in circular form. It gives fruit in the rainy season. The propagation is caused by the seeds. The fruit is edible. Crow likes it.

There are hard and curved spines on its body. Leaves are used in piles, blister and tumour. Roots are used in pain, jaundice, tuberculosis, bone fracture and liver diseases. 
The plant has been mentioned in Charak-Sushruta. So it can be surely said that…

Kajubadam or Cashew nut, Anacardium occidentale

Kajubadam or Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale, family: Anacardiaceae) is an evergreen medium-sized (30-40 feet) leafy tree with spreading branches. Stem is crooked. It is not indigenous in Bangladesh, though it has been planted in different parts of the country.

Other names: Kaju, Hijli badam.

Leaves are simple, green, 10-18 cm long and 6-10 cm wide, obovate, rough, entire, round at he end and narrow at the base. Flowers are small, yellowish brown, on terminal inflorescence. each cluster contains 400-1200 tiny flowers. Flower blooms in April-May.

Male and bisexual flowers can be seen in a tree. Fruits are born from the bisexual flowers. Fruit is nutty drupe, kidney-shaped, about 2.5 cm long, grey, with hard cover. Immatures fruits are green, turns yellow and red when ripe. Seeds are found naked below the hanging fruits. Propagation is caused by sees and air layering.

It is cultivated for its fruits. Ripe fruit is juicy and tastes good. It is commercially cultivated in India, East Afr…

Gaab, Indian persimmon, Diospyros peregrina

Gaab or Indian persimmon (Diospyros peregrina, family : Ebenaceae) is a short to medium-sized evergreen tree with spreading branches and dense leaves. Bark is blackish. The nice canopy-holder tree can be seen from Southeast Asia to Australia. It is found everywhere in Bangladesh.

At the end of spring, the extraordinary red-brown leaves appear. This is one of the main characteristics of the plant. The entire tree looks great at that time. Leaves are simple, dark green, hard, smooth on upper side, petioled, alternate, lanceolate, 10-20 cm long and 4-7 cm wide. Leaves grow thickly on black branches.

Flowers are white, scented, with 4 thick petals; sepals 4. The plant produces flowers in March-April. Male and female flowers bloom separately. Female flowers usually grow singly from leaf axil while the male ones bloom in cluster on cyme inflorescence. 2-7 male flowers bloom together, while female ones bloom as singles on leaf axil. Male flowers are bigger and whiter than the female ones. The…

Dholshomudro or Elephant ear, Leea macrophylla

Dholshomudro or Elephant ear (Leea macrophylla, family : Vitaceae) is an annual rhizomatous herb with large green leaves. The height of the plant is barely a meter. It can be usually seen in the edge of the forest, especially in Chottogram and Chottogram Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.

Dented leaves are gigantic, beautiful to see; simple, ovate, cordate at base, apex acuminate, 20-60 cm long and 10.16-45 cm wide, edge undulated. Veins and midribs are clearly visible. Petioles are thick and hollow, 10-15 cm long.  

It blooms in June-July. At the tip of the twig is borne large cyme inflorescence with huge number of flowers. Peduncle 30 cm tall. Flowers are small, soft, whitish, sepals 5, petals 5.

Fruits are also small, globose, tapered, .smooth, 4-6-lobed, 6-1 cm in diameter. Juveniles are green, matures are blackish. 

Young leaves are eaten as vegetables. Color can be made from the roots. Power of roots is antiseptic and cures sores. It also destroys intestinal worm and earth worm. 

In winter…