Mushok-dana or Musk-mallow (Abelmoschus moschatus, family: Malvaceae) is a perennial erect herb or undershrub attaining a height of 3 m. Stem is cylindrical and reddish. Young shoots, pedicel and petiole are retrorsely (opposite direction) hairy.
The plant almost looks similar to popular vegetable Okra (abelmoschus esculentus). It is found near the water bodies, fallow lands, roadside areas and forest edges in Bangladesh. It is also found in India as well as Southeast Asia.
The another Bangla name of the plant is Kala-kosturi.
Lower leaves are angular, upper palmately lobed, dark green, oblong-lanceolate, ovate, 20-24 cm long, serrate or dented, hairy on both sides. Leaf-base has a crown-like portion. Petiole is very long.
Flower axillay, solitary and in terminal clusters. They are big, light yellow with dark purple center, petals 5, unequal; corolla 10 cm across. Epicalyx segments 6-10, linear-lanceolate. Flowering occurs in the rainy season. Flower and fruit can be seen together in the same plant till late autumn.
Fruit is a capsule, 5-angled, dark brown, dehiscent; 4-6 cm long and 2-4 cm wide, ovoid-oblong. Seeds are scented, black in color, ovoid and glabrous.
Stem yields a jute-like fibre suitable for making ropes. A kind of perfumed oil is extracted from its crushed seeds.
The seeds with bitter and sharp taste are cooling, tonic, carmunative and aphrodisiac. The leaves and young parts are eaten as vegetables. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
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
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 h