Boichi or Madagascar plum (Flacourtia indica, family: Flacourtiaceae) is a spiny shrub with numerous branches, attaining a height of 2-3 m. Bark is grey and rough. Young leaves and shoots are reddish. There are numerous long and sharp spines all over the body of this leafy shrub. It is found in village thickets, in deep forest and the edge of water bodies in Bangladesh. Globally it is found in many Asian countries, tropical Africa and Madagascar.
Other names: Baichha, Tamabot, Bunj, Dungkhoir, Beuchi, Kanta-bohuri, Bongkui-kanta, Bon-khoi.
Flowers are tiny, yellowish of greenish. They appear from the node of leaves. Female and male flowers are in different plants. Flowering occurs in the end of winter.
Fruits are round, 2-2.5 cm wide, Immature fruits are pink or red with shiny skin. When ripe, these turn dark purple. Seeds 4-10. The fruits ripen in summer. These are edible and dellicious too. The spiny shrub is propagated by seeds and cuttings.
Fruits are very popular among the village children. Smart sellers in the market make garlands with the tiny red and blackish fruits. Children wear them around their necks and they gladly press and eat them. By the by, it can reach a height of 10 meters if it is favored. Ripe fruits are rich in phosphorus and calcium. This is why these are used to treat gingivitis and jaundice.
Kodbel or Elephant wood apple ( Feronia limonia , family: Rutaceae) is medium-sized fruit-giving tree with straight trunk and numerous branches. Bark is dark grey. It has straight spines in axil. Some parts of the tree are quite fragrant--leaves, ripe fruits, seeds etc. The tree is planted as ornamental one in parks and gardens nowadays in Bangladesh. It is planted in the country as a homestead tree too. Other Bangla names: Koyetbel, Chirpaki. Leaflet is small, 5-7, and 3-4 cm wide, opposite, cuneate or obovate. Leaves are scented. Flowers are good-looking, showy. Those are reddish; calyx 5-lobbed, triangular; petals ovate. Male and female flowers can be seen in the same panicle. Flower blooms in March-April. Fruit is round, greenish white or ye l l o w is h w h ite at a glance, 8-10 cm in diameter. Skin is very hard but fragile. The pulp is fleshy and soft. Raw pulp is light brown, ripe is deep chocholate or yelowish brown. The ripe fruit is qu
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
Kulekhara or Talmakhna ( Hygrophila auriculata , family: Acanthaceae) is a stout and erect herb with straight and undivided stem. The spiny plant is very popular as a medicinal plant in Bangladesh as well as the Indian subcontinent. Other names: Kulekkha, Kuiley-rekha, Kanta kalika, Shoolmordon. Leaves are lanceolate, subsessile, acute at both ends with long whitish hairs, dense with straight and stout thorns that grow from each node. Outer leaves are longer than the inner ones. Both leaves and thorns remain in upward direction. Flowers in axillary whorls. They are bright violet or bluish purple and red, sometimes whitish with soft and minor hair, corolla 2-lipped. Flower blooms in the winter. Fruit a capsule, 4-8-seeded. Seeds are ovoid (not in the pic). The body of the plant contains alkaloids, phytosterols, stigmasterol, lupeol and essential oils. Its seeds contain oil, enzymes and sterols. The plant is cooling and diuretic in cases of h