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Mushok-dana or Musk-mallow, Abelmoschus moschatus

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Mushok-dana or Musk-mallow (Abelmoschus moschatus, family: Malvaceae) is a perennial erect herb or undershrub attaining a height of 3 m. Stem is cylindrical and reddish. Young shoots, pedicel and petiole are retrorsely (opposite direction) hairy.

The plant almost looks similar to popular vegetable Okra (abelmoschus esculentus). It is found near the water bodies, fallow lands, roadside areas and forest edges in Bangladesh. It is also found in India as well as Southeast Asia.

The another Bangla name of the plant is Kala-kosturi.

Lower leaves are angular, upper palmately lobed, dark green, oblong-lanceolate, ovate, 20-24 cm long, serrate or dented, hairy on both sides. Leaf-base has a crown-like portion. Petiole is very long. 

Flower axillay, solitary and in terminal clusters. They are big, light yellow with dark purple center, petals 5, unequal; corolla 10 cm across. Epicalyx segments 6-10, linear-lanceolate. Flowering occurs in the rainy season. Flower and fruit can be seen together i…

Motkila or Gin berry, glycosmis pentaphylla

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Motkila or Gin berry (glycosmis pentaphylla, family: rutaceae) is a woody shrub with branches, attaining a height of 2-5 m. Bark is yellowish. The leaves are almost like the leaves of Blackberry. In Bangladesh it is found on fallow land and in jungles of rural areas. It is also found in South and Southeast Asia and Australia.
                                    Other names:  Datmajon, Ash-sheora, Daton, Atesshor.

Leaflets 1-5, green, large, entire, lanceolate-oblong, alternate, petioled, aromatic.

Flowers are small, creamy white, pubescent, clustered on terminal cyme. 

Fruit is a berry, small, round, light pink or whitish, fleshy and juicy when ripe. Seeds 1-3. Flowers and fruits are found round the year. The evergreen plant is propagated by seeds and cuttings. 

Bark, root and wood are used in the treatment of acne, itching, worms, fever, cough etc. Leaf juice is useful in liver disease, gum pain, eczema and skin diseases. 

Branches are used as toothbrush. Fruit is edible. The species na…

Shorpogondha or Black snakeroot, Rauvolfia serpentina

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Shorpogondha or Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia serpentina, family: Apocynaceae) is a herbaceous shrub with milky juice. The perennial can grow up to 2 m. It is usually found in moist and shady places near the forests of the South and Southeast Asia. 

It is one of the most popular medicinal plants of Indian subcontinent. In Bangladesh, no herbal garden can be imagined without this plant.

Common names: Choto chador, Shorpadoni, Shorpokkhi & Black snakeroot (English).

Leaves are borne in whorls of 3, elliptic-lanceolate, 10-15 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, acuminate, glossy green upside, pale beneath. 


Flowers are terminal, white, reddish at the bottom, corolla tube long, slender, sepals 5, petals 5. Peduncle and sepals are reddish.

Fruit is a drupe, round, .5-1 cm in diameter, blackish when mature. Three different colors of fruits (green, red & black) are seen together in a plant. 

Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds and cuttings. Flowering and fruiting occur in the summer to late autumn…

Jongli badam or Bastard poon tree, Sterculia foetida

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Jongli badam or Bastard poon tree (Sterculia foetida, family: Sterculuaceae) is a large deciduous tree, up to 20 m in height, with branches arranged in whorls and spreading horizontally. Trunk is robust and straight. There are eye-like glands on the grey-colored bark. The tree has some resembles with Shimul.                                                                                                                    The children are in the womb!
Leaves are digitately compound, leaflets 5-8, crowded at the end of branches, elliptic-lanceolate, tip elongated, acuminate, 10-18 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, petiole is very long, about 20 cm, though the length of leaflets are very short, almost sessile.

Flowers are red-yellow or light purple, borne on a axillary panicles. Sepals 5. Flowers bloom is the end of winter or in spring. 



Although the flowers are beautiful but those have a very unpleasant odour. For this reason, the species have been named foetida. Interestingly, flowers have no pet…

Ritha or Soapberry, Sapindus saponaria

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Ritha or Soapberry (Sapindus saponaria, family: Sapindaceae) is a a medium-sized much branching tree attaining a height of 15 m. Its bark is dark with rough scales. The deciduous tree is originated from tropical America. Nowadays it has been naturalized in Bangladesh as well as tropical areas of Asia. The good looking tree is found in the North-West region of the country.

Leaves are green, 2-6 pairs per pinnae, 40 cm long, terminal leaf absent. Leaflets almost opposite or alternate, elliptic-lanceolate, 5-15 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, petioled, apex emarginate.

After leaving all the leaves in the winter, new leaves arrives in the beginning of spring.

Flowering occurs in the summer. Inflorescence up to 25 cm long. Flowers creamy white, tomentose. Petals 5. Fruit is drupe, solitary or pair, fleshy, subglobose, 1 cm in diameter, glabrous. Fruiting occurs in rainy season. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.

Fibers on inner bark are used for making ropes. Fruits are used as a su…

Jolpai or Ceylon olive, Elaeocarpus serratus, Elaeocarpaceae

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Jolpai or Ceylon olive (Elaeocarpus serratus, family: Elaeocarpaceae) is a well-known fruit tree of Bangladesh. It is a medium to large-sized evergreen tree with hairy branches. It is mainly found in Indian subcontinent. Almost all the year the red leaves are found on the tree. The tree can be easily recognized by the red leaves.

Leaves are elliptic to lanceolate, 10-15 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, edge deeply dented, glossy green, alternate, acuminate at apex. 

Flowers are very beautiful. They borne in axillary racemes, 8-10 cm long, bear many small creamy-white flowers. Flower blooms in June-July. 

Fruit is a drupe, sour, bronze-colored, about 2.5 cm long. Fruit matures in August-September.

Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
It is planted in gardens and villages for its fruits. Fruit is rich in vitamin C and cures common cold, dyspepsia, gum disease and physical weakness. Very delicious pickles are made from its fruit.

After 5 years of seed sowing, the tree begin to give fruits.…

Kamela or Monkey-face tree, Mallotus philippensis

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Kamela or Monkey-face tree (Mallotus philippensis, family: Euphorbiaceae) is a small-sized tree, usually 8-12 m in height. The bark of the evergreen tree is grey, smooth and wrinkled. Young shoot, leaves and inflorescence are covered with rust-colored hair. The tree is found everywhere in Bangladesh. It is also found in South and Southeast Asia.

Other names: Shinduri, Kamala, Kapila, Komolaguli. 

Leaves are simple, green, alternate, petioled, ovate-lanceolate, edge slightly undulated, acuminate at the apex, 8-20 cm long and 3-6 cm wide. The lower side of the leaves contain many glands. Petiole is 1-8 cm long and has a pair of gland at the bottom.


Flowers are small, reddish brown, borne on spike inflorescence. Male and female flowers bloom on separate inflorescences. 
Fruit is a capsule, globose, having three lobes, covered with red powdery substance, almost 1 cm in diameter. Seeds are blackish, subglobose. 

Flowers and fruits are found almost throughout the year. The tree is propagate…

Chaulmugra or Dalmugri, Hydnocarpus kurzii

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Chalumugra or Dalmugri (Hydnocarpus kurzii, family: Flacourtiaceae) is a small to medium-sized tree having brownish hair in young parts. The tree can be up to 15 meters tall. Bark is almost brown. Wood is very hard. It is mostly found in the hilly areas of greater Chottogram and greater Sylhet forests. The tree is also found in South and South Asia.

Leaves are simple, green in color, oblong-lanceolate, 15-25 cm long 4-10 cm wide, apex acute, alternate, petioled, entire or undulate edge. 

The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. The evergreen  tree with beautiful drooping branches can be planted as an avenue tree. 

Flowers are pale yellow, single or clustered, pretty fragrant.. Flower blooms in the spring. 
Fruit is ball-shaped, uneven, grey, hard, fleshy, 5-10 cm in diametre. Seeds 2-3, 2-2.5 cm long.

It is mentioned in Ayurveda as Tubrak. Seed oil is used in intestinal gas, worm, diabetes and skin diseases like eczema and leprosy and is also used for burning. Sometimes its fru…

Bajna or Cape yellowwood, Zanthoxylum rhets

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Bajna or Cape yellowwood (Zanthoxylum rhetsa, family: Rutaceae) is a medium-sized or large deciduous tree with numerous branches. It can get a height of 10-13 m. The whole trunk and old branches are covered with strong prickles. The bark is thick and yellow.

Other names: Bajinali, Kata-horina, Tambul.


Despite being thorny, it is quite a beautiful tree and can be planted as an ornamental plant beside roads and in parks and gardens. 

In Bangladesh it is found in hilly areas Shal forests. The tree is also found in the countries of South and Southeast Asia.

Flowers are very small, pale yellow, borne at the tip of the branch. Flowering occurs in the summer.

Fruits are small, almost round, blackish when ripe. Each fruit has only one seed, which is black and bright. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.

Leaves are compound with 16-40 leaflets clustered at the end of the branches, opposite on rachis. Leaflets are ovate-lanceolate, 7-12 cm long, usually entire. Having the pellucid glands …