Madhobi-lota or Madhabi (Hiptage benghalensis, family: Malpighiaceae) is a large climbing shrub with woody stem and extensive branches. The perennial leafy climber can climb up to 5 m. In Bangla literary works, the vigorous climber is very famous for its sweet-scented flowers. The deciduous climber is found in the hilly areas of Bangladesh. Although it is rare in its original habitat, it has become popular to the gardeners of the country recently.
Flower blooms in large bunches in the spring. Blooming period is very shortened, lasts only for 2 weeks.
Leaves are glossy green, petioled, elliptic, 10-15 cm long, opposite, leathery.
Flowers are strong scented, white to light yellow, 3 cm long, on axillary panicles, silky outside, pale yellow inside. Sepals 5; petals 5, four of them are equal in length and white in color, the rest one is smaller and its color is yellow. Stamens 10, one is bigger.
Dry fruits are 3-winged, They fly through these wings in order to increase the population. Seed is woolly.
The plant is propagated from cutting from green wood. Gardeners can grow seedlings from its seeds. It is grown in parks, gardens and homestead for flowers. It needs strong support for trailing or climbing.
Leaves, flowers and other parts of the plant are used in tumour, worm, rheumatism, asthma, cough, fever, rickets, stomach disorder, urinal problem and skin diseases. Leaf juice is used to kill insects somewhere.
Juvenile leaves are reddish and very shiny.
Tulsi o r Sacred basil ( Ocimum tenuiflorum , family: Lamiaceae) is an odorous perennial herb or undershrub with many branches attaining a height of 1-1.5 m. Almost whole body of the plant is covered with hairs. Stem is woody, furrowed and quadrangular. Like many other herbs (Dhutra, Begun, Pepper) the plant can be purple. It is found everywhere in Bangladesh as a medicinal as well as sacred plant to Hindu community. It has spread across a huge global range, extending from the Arabian Peninsula to East Asia as well as Pacific Islands to Australia. Other names: Kalo tulsi (Bang); Tulasi, Ajaka (Sans); Holy basil (Eng). Leaves are strongly scented, green or purple, hairy, ovate-broadly elliptical, 2-5 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide, opposite, irregularly dented, petiole 2-3 cm long. Flowers are tiny, white or purplish, 3-8 on terminal inflorescence (12-25 cm long). Corolla bilabiate, petals 5, calyx divided into two parts, Stamens 4. It produces flower almost round the year. Fruit is n
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
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