Bokul or Medlar, Mimusops elengi
Bokul or Medlar (Mimusops elengi, family: Sapotaceae) is a medium-sized evergeeen tree with dome-shaped crown, attaining a height of 10-15 cm. Trunk is grey, rough and round with spreading branches. Indian subcontinent and Myanmar is the home of the tree.
Common names: Bullet wood, Spanish cherry.
Leaves are alternate, wavy-ended, shiny green above and pale green underneath, elliptic, 8-10 cm and and 4-7 cm wide. New leaves come out in spring.
Flowers are borne in axillary clusters, 1-6 in a bunch, each flower 1.5 cm in diameter. Sepals 5 but petals numerous. Flowers are small, very fragrant, white in color. Its scent is retained even if it dries. Flowering starts from summer and continues up to autumn.
Fruits are oval-shaped, red or orange in color, 2-3 cm long; . 1-2-seeded. Flowers and fruits can be seen at a time.
Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. It is a suitable tree fot roadside plantation. Its huge canopy provides pleasant shade in gardens and parks. It can survive in stagnant water.
Different parts of the leafy tree are used as medicine. It is used for leucoderma, headace, constipation and dysentery. It is also used to treat dental and sexual problems. Red-colored wood is strong and durable.
Its flowers quickly fall from the tree like Shiuly. The people of Bangladesh have a great craze for its flower. Young people use it to express their love. In Bangla literature the praise of this flower has come very well. A beautiful variety of the plant is also found in Bangladesh which leaves are yellow-green-striped.
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