Kurchi or Girimollika, Holarrhena antidysenterica

Kurchi or Girimollika (Holarrhena antidysenterica, family: Apocynaceae) is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree with branches, attaining a height of 6-7 m. Its bark is not smooth and slightly grey in color.

The tree is one of the most beautiful flowering plants in Bangladesh. It is mainly found in the hilly areas as well as Sal forests in the country. The loving tree is native to Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh.

Leaves are simple, green, glabrous, opposite, nearly sessile, elliptic-lanceolate with pointed apex, 4-20 cm long and 8-10 cm wide. Flowers are white, 2-4 cm wide, slightly tubular at base, scented, clustered. Sepals 5, petals 5. 

Flowers bloom profusely at the beginning of spring. In this time no leaves can be found in the tree!  
 Fruits are cylindrical, borne in pair, 20-35 cm long, many-seeded.

Propagation of the plant is caused by air layering and root sucker. It is grown in garden and parks as an ornamental plant.

The tree is full with medicinal values. Its bark and seeds are used to prepare medicine for fever, strangury, worm, tumour, dysentery and sore in mouth. Its bark is used in snakebite and scorpion sting.

The species name 'antidysenterica' indicates that it gives great benefits to dysentery disease. The Sanskrit name of the plant are Kutaja, which is mentioned in Kalidasa's (The legendary Medieval Indian poet and dramatist) one of the greatest works 'Meghadut'.