Kulekhara or Talmakhna (Hygrophila auriculata, family: Acanthaceae) is a stout and erect herb with straight and undivided stem. The spiny plant is very popular as a medicinal plant in Bangladesh as well as the Indian subcontinent.
Other names: Kulekkha, Kuiley-rekha, Kanta kalika, Shoolmordon.
Leaves are lanceolate, subsessile, acute at both ends with long whitish hairs, dense with straight and stout thorns that grow from each node. Outer leaves are longer than the inner ones. Both leaves and thorns remain in upward direction.
Flowers in axillary whorls. They are bright violet or bluish purple and red, sometimes whitish with soft and minor hair, corolla 2-lipped. Flower blooms in the winter.
Fruit a capsule, 4-8-seeded. Seeds are ovoid (not in the pic).
The body of the plant contains alkaloids, phytosterols, stigmasterol, lupeol and essential oils. Its seeds contain oil, enzymes and sterols. The plant is cooling and diuretic in cases of hepatic obstruction, dropsy, rheumatism and diseases of genito-urinary tracts. Seeds are demulcent, diuretic and possibly tonic. Its root, leaves and seeds are used in gonorrhea, jaundice, rheumatic pain and urinary problem.
The annual thorny herb grows in cropland and damp lands or at the edge of ditches. It is found all over the country. Outside the country, it is also found in the Himalayas to Sri Lanka.
Rubber bot or Indian rubber ( Ficus elastica , family: Moraceae) is a medium or large evergreen tree with aerial prop roots grow from its branches. The fig tree with milky latex in its leaves and shoots can get a height of more than 30 meters. The trunk is smooth, black-colored and has very tiny whitish spots. This tree is well-known as an ornamental plant. In Bangladesh, it is found on roadside area or the edge of forest and in parks and gardens. The beautiful tree is native to South and Southeast Asia. Leaves are spectacular, simple, big, leathery, deep green, sometimes deep purplish, shiny and smooth, elliptic-ovate, 12-30 cm long and 5-12 cm wide, petioled, alternate, acuminate at the top. Florets remain inside the fruit or fig which cannot be seen from outside. Fruiting occurs in the late spring. Fruits develop in the nodes of the Fruits. They usually round, sometimes slender in shape. Mature fruits are yellow or red in color. The plant is propagated by
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