Mankochu or Giant taro (Alocasia macrorrhizos, family: Araceae) is a rhizomatous evergreen herb with soft, smooth and round stem up to 15-18 cm in diameter. Usually it can get a height of 1 to 2 m. It is one of the most popular vegetables in Bangladesh. The perennial plant is found everywhere in Bangladesh, especially in rural areas.
Common names: Giant alocasia, Elephant ear, Upright Elephant ear.
Upright leaves are gigantic and very attractive too; about 1 m long, green and heart-shaped, dented with pointed or round end, petiole is almost 1 m long covering the stem.
Inflorescence is a spadix, small flowers are covered with spathe. Spathe is divided in to two parts, upper part is 20-25 cm long and the lower is 3-5 cm long. Flower blooms in the autumn (Sep-Oct). Fruit is orange or reddish.
Propagation is by rhizome. It is planted mainly in rainy season. Its fleshy frond and leaves are used as vegetable which is nutritious.
It reduces constipation, allergy, piles, sore in tongue and ear. The stem is eaten to produce rheumatic pain. Powder of dry stem cures jaundice. It is also used when the stomach is upset. The stem and petiole contain protein, Vitamin B & C and iron.
It can be planted in the garden and park for its extraordinary beautiful leaves. It is found in India, South and Southeast Asia as well as the Pacific islands.
Kaat-badam or Bengal almond ( Terminalia catappa , family: Combretaceae) is a large deciduous tree with spreading horizontal branches. It is found in the tropical Asia, Africa and Australia. Common names: Katbadam, Deshi badam, Bengal almond, Indian almond, Tropical almond. During winter the beautiful green leaves of terminalia catappa turn to red. Leaves are simple, 15-25 cm long and 8-15 cm wide, obcordate, alternate or whorled. Flowers appear in the summer. Flowers are small, grey white, clustered on axillary or terminal spike. Flowers on the upper part of the inflorescence are male and those are on the lower part are bisexual. Fruit is elliptical, 4-6 cm long, red when ripe. The tree with nice canopy is planted in avenues and gardens as ornamental tree in Bangladesh. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
Tulsi o r Sacred basil ( Ocimum tenuiflorum , family: Lamiaceae) is an odorous perennial herb or undershrub with many branches attaining a height of 1-15 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 nut
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