Shotomuli or Shatawari (Asparagus racemosus, family: Asparagaceae) Is a perennial creeping shrub with numerous branches. The spectacular bushy and extensive shrub is thorny. Sometimes thorne is about 1-3 cm long. It can extend far beyond by holding something. The plant has a large number of whitish tubers. For this reason in Bangla, it is called as Shotomuli (the plant of numerous roots).
Other names: Bohumula, Keshika, Shoto-netrika, Tejbolli, Modhura, Climbing asparagus (Eng).
It is a renowned herbal plant of Indian subcontinent. This is much appreciated in ancient Ayurveda. It is found mainly in the Sal forest of Modhupur and the Swamp forest of Ratargul, Sylhet in Bangladesh. It is also found in India and Sri Lanka.
Leaves are bright green, linear, those are called cladophyll. Cladophyll is leaf-like tiny branches. During the winter all its leaves fall off.
Raceme inflorescence bears many small and whitish flowers. Petals 5. Flowering occurs in autumn.
Fruits are pea-like, red, scented, 1-2-seeded. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds and rhizomes.
It is a plant of various medicinal quality. Rhizome is used to reduce weakness and increase breast milk. It is also used in gonorrhea, strangury and for nocturnal emission. Stem is often used for decoration purposes.
The shape of leaves and branches are quite aesthetic. It is planted in medicinal corner of a botanical garden or park. It is also planted as an ornamental shrub in the personal garden too.
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