Shapla or White water lily (Nymphaea pubescens, family: Nymphaeceae) is a common water plant and its flower is the 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. In Sanskrit literature it is mentioned as Kumuda.
Other names: Shaluk (Bang); White lotus, Hairy water lily, Pink water lily(Eng).
Petiole is 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 growth of sperm and breast milk. Seeds are fried to make 'khoi', which is edible. Shapla stems are eaten as delicious vegetables. If the root is not picked up completely, it is indestructible. Although this species has three different colors, it is unmistakable to say that the white one is the national flower of Bangladesh.
Synonyms: Nymphaea rubra, Nymphaea edulis, Nymphaea esculenta, Nymphaea lotus var. pubescens, Nymphaea magnifica, Nymphaea purpurea, Nymphaea rosea.
Maloti-lota or Malati ( Aganosma heynei, 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. Fl
Makal or Mahakal ( Trichosanthes tricuspidata , family: Cucurbitaceae) is a woody climber with tendril and branches, attaining a height of 10-12 m. The multiangular-branched plant climbs up very far by holding any tree in the forest. It is found in the hilly areas as well as plain forests and village thickets in Bangladesh. It is also found in Indian subcontinent, Australia and some countries of South and Southeast Asia. According to ancient Sanskrit scriptures the other names of the plant are Bishala, Mohendro-baruni. In the Himalayas it has been seen at an altitude of 5000 feet. There are many refferences to the fruit in Bangla and Sanskrit literature. Someone is very nice to look at but he/she is useless--writers usually jokingly give examples of this fruit. Its roots and attractive fruits are packed with medicinal properties. The size and shape of leaves may vary. These are multilobed or trilobed, alternate, rough in both sides, 5-12 cm long, petioled, cor
Guloncho or Heart-leaved moonseed ( Tinospora cordifolia , family: Menispermaceae) is a deciduous creeper with hard and long stem, climbing other trees or fences. Bark on the stem is as thin as paper. Aerial roots come out of the stem when the plant grows older. The plant is found everywhere in Bangladesh except southern part. It is also native to South and Southeast Asia. Common names: Heart-leaved moonseed, Guduchi, Giloy, Guloncho, Guroncho, Padma guloncho. Leaves are simple, green, alternate, cordate, 6-15 cm long and 5-13 cm wide. Inflorescence, growing from the axil of leaflet branches, bears yellow flowers. Male and female flowers bloom separately. Sepals 6, arranged in two rows, petal 6, pistils 3. Fruit is a drupe, brilliant red when ripe. This attractive fruit is inedible to human. What an extensive climber! Tinospora cordifolia is used in weakness, tastelessness, rheumatis