Ritha or Soapberry (Sapindus saponaria, family: Sapindaceae) is a a medium-sized much branching tree attaining a height of 15 m. Its bark is dark with rough scales. The deciduous tree is originated from tropical America. Nowadays it has been naturalized in Bangladesh as well as tropical areas of Asia. The good looking tree is found in the North-West region of the country.
Leaves are green, 2-6 pairs per pinnae, 40 cm long, terminal leaf absent. Leaflets almost opposite or alternate, elliptic-lanceolate, 5-15 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, petioled, apex emarginate.
After leaving all the leaves in the winter, new leaves arrives in the beginning of spring.
Flowering occurs in the summer. Inflorescence up to 25 cm long. Flowers creamy white, tomentose. Petals 5. Fruit is drupe, solitary or pair, fleshy, subglobose, 1 cm in diameter, glabrous. Fruiting occurs in rainy season. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
Fibers on inner bark are used for making ropes. Fruits are used as a substitute for soap because of the high amount of saponin. The fruits are used in memory loss disease and breathing difficulties. Fruits are also used in fish poisoning.
Seeds are formally used as buttons and beads. A kind of oil is extracted from the seeds too. In Sanskrit, it is called Arishta and Phenil.
Shimul or Red silk-cotton ( Bombax ceiba , family: Malvaceae) is one of the most common trees that found in Bangladesh. This deciduous straight tall tree with thorny trunk and spreading crown is also found in tropical regions of Asia. In Bangladesh, the tree is planted in parks and on highways and beside national monuments for its gorgeous fire-red flowers. It can reach a height up to 60 m. Common names: Shimul, Red silk-cotton, Red cotton tree. Leaves are large, spreading, glabrous, digitate, leaflets lanceolate, entire, 10-15 cm long; petiole is up to 20 cm long. It blooms in spring (March-April). Flowers red, numerous, appearing when the tree is bare of leaves, stamens numerous arranged in five outer bundles and one middle bundle. Fruit capsules, woody valves. 10-13 cm in length. Seeds smooth, black or grey embedded in long white wool. Oh! the flame of the forest! Young plant is used in dysentery, cough, plethora, malnutrition and sexu
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
Jongli badam or Bastard poon tree ( Sterculia foetida , family: Sterculuaceae) is a large deciduous tree, up to 20 m in height, with branches arranged in whorls and spreading horizontally. Trunk is robust and straight. There are eye-like glands on the grey-colored bark. The tree has some resembles with Shimul . The children are in the womb! Leaves are digitately compound, leaflets 5-8, crowded at the end of branches, elliptic-lanceolate, tip elongated, acuminate, 10-18 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, petiole is very long, about 20 cm, though the length of leaflets are very short, almost sessile. Flowers are red-yellow or light purple, borne on a axillary panicles. Sepals 5. Flowers bloom is the end of winter or in spring. Although the flowers are beautiful but those have a very unpleasant odour. For this reason, the species have been named foetida