Shaluk or Blue water lily (Nymphaea nouchali, family: Nymphaceae) is an aquatic plant grows from underwater soil. The plant is found in ponds, canals, beels and jheels everywhere in Bangladesh along with White water lily, Keshordam, Water spinach, Bladderwort and other aquatic plants.
Leaves are shiny green, purplish or reddish beneath, round or ovate, irregularly serrated, 15-32 cm long and 10-25 cm wide, floating on water. The length of petiole and pedicel increases with the rise of water level.
Flower is purplish and slightly scented. Petals 10-30, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, acute, arranged in three layers. Stamens numerous, 10-50, yellow in color. Petiole is 20-150 cm long. Sepals usually green, sometimes dull red, often marked with darker dots and lines. The flower is little bit smaller than Shapla, Water lily. Flower blooms at night. It remains open till noon. Flowering occurs in the rainy season to late autumn (July to November).
Fruit a spongy berry, 4.5 in diameter, ripening under water enclosed by persistent sepals. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds and by bulb. It is also found in East Africa and South and Southeast Asia. As an ornamental plant it is planted in the water tanks and lakes in parks and gardens in Bangladesh. The Blue water lily is the national flower of Sri Lanka.
Other Bangla names: Kumud, Shundi, Nilkomol, Nil shapla, Nil poddo, Nil kombol.
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