Aam or Mango (Mangifera indica, family: Anacardiaceae) is a medium or large-sized evergreen tree with spreading branches, attaining a height of 40 m. The trunk is grey or blackish and rough. The leafy tree is found everywhere in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, it is planted as a homestead tree.
Mango is called the king of all fruits in the country. The Size, color, smell, juicy pulp, taste, nutritional value--overall it is the best fruit. It is the national tree of Bangladesh. Southeast Asia is the original home of the plant.
Fruit is a drupe, big, round or oblong, green, yellow or red. Pulp is very sweet and juicy, yellow or reddish, delicious. The fruits become mature in the end of summer. Single fruit may weigh 100-700 grams. It is propagated by seeds and cuttings.
The leafy and wide-rooted tree is a long-lived tree indeed. In suitable condition it can survive for 300 years. It is so much popular that it has around two and a half thousand different cultivars all over the world. About 1000 cultivars of mango are cultivated in this subcontinent.
In 15-16th century, this delicious fruit spread throughout the world through the Spanish and Portuguese and Muslim missionaries. The tree is well mentioned in Buddhist literature `Jataka tales` (4th century BC) and in different ancient Sanskrit literature. The Mughal emperors have cultivated many native and foreign cultivars in their garden.
Some of the best cultivars of Mango that are produced in Bangladesh are Fozli, Lyangra, Gopalbhog, Amropali, Khirshapat, Shurjopori, Bombai, Himshagor, Kishanbhog, Asshina,, Baromashi, Kaachamittha, Brindaboni, Kuapahari, Raajbhog, Mohonbhog, Kohitor, Misribhog, Sridhon, Dudhia, Gopalkhash etc.
Different kinds of tasty food are made from both green and ripe fruits, like Morobba, Jelly, Chatni, Aamshi, Amshotto and varities of pickles. Although its wood is not high quality, yet it is used to make furniture and wooden boat. As firewood, it is excellent.
In the Indian subcontinent, it has been recognized as a medicinal plant since ancient times. Fruit contains a lot of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A. Leaves, fruits, milky latex and bark are used in bleeding, diabetes, hair fall, eye and dental diseases.
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