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.
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