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.
Kaat-badam or Bengal almond ( Terminalia catappa , family: Combretaceae) is a large deciduous tree with spreading horizontal branches. It is found in the tropical Asia, Africa and Australia. Common names: Katbadam, Deshi badam, Bengal almond, Indian almond, Tropical almond. During winter the beautiful green leaves of terminalia catappa turn to red. Leaves are simple, 15-25 cm long and 8-15 cm wide, obcordate, alternate or whorled. Flowers appear in the summer. Flowers are small, grey white, clustered on axillary or terminal spike. Flowers on the upper part of the inflorescence are male and those are on the lower part are bisexual. Fruit is elliptical, 4-6 cm long, red when ripe. The tree with nice canopy is planted in avenues and gardens as ornamental tree in Bangladesh. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
Tulsi o r Sacred basil ( Ocimum tenuiflorum , family: Lamiaceae) is an odorous perennial herb or undershrub with many branches attaining a height of 1-15 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 nut
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