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, cordate at base, deeply dented.
Its flowers have a great resemblance to Chichinga or Snake gourd flowers. Flowers are exceptional, in a word wonderful. These are unisexual, growing from the axil of leaves, funnel-shaped, having long tube, 5-7 cm long. Petals 5 with crown-like appendix. Like many other white flowers it blooms at night. Flowering occurs in the rainy season.
Many-seeded fruit is almost round or oval-shaped, brilliant red in color, 5 cm in diameter. Seeds are thin, smooth and grey. Although it looks eye-catching, it is inedible to human. In fact, it is a poisonous fruit. But it is a favorite food of birds. The fruits ripen in Aug-Sept. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
Fruits play a very beneficial role in asthma. These are also used in nose and ear wounds. Roots are used in boil. Seeds are used in laxative.
Til or Sesame ( Sesamum indicum , family: Pedaliaceae) is an annual herb with hollow stem and branches attaining a height of 50 to 100 cm. Sesame or Til seed is one of the oldest oil-seed crops o f t h e w o r l d. The plant is originated in Africa. It is cultivated as crop throughout the tropical world. Leaves are opposite, broad lanceolate, dark green, 4- 14 cm long with an entire margin . Flower is hairy, white or light pink, borne on leaf axil; 3-5 cm long with a four-lobed mouth. In Bangladesh, i t blooms generally in April-May. Sesame fruit is a rectangular capsule, 2-7 cm long, covered with tiny soft hair . Tiler khaja, a type of sweetened food made from sesame seed is very popular in Bangladesh. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. Seeds are usually off-white in c o l o r. Sesame is energizing, carminative and diuretic. It increases breast milk and sperms in male. It has been found useful in dyspepsia a
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
Danda-kolosh or Shetodron ( Leucas aspera , family: Lamiaceae) is an annual herb with soft, hairy and qudrangular stem. The weed is found in South and Southeast Asia. It prefers dry, open and sandy soil. The under-shrub can reach a height of 30-50 cm. Other local names: Dolkolosh, Julfi, Holkosha, Debdron. Flowers rise from axillary whorls are pure white, small and showy. Petals 5, sepals 5, bilabiate. It blooms in March-April mainly. Flower contains nectar. Leaves are short petioled, entire, oblong-lanceolate, taper at the base; 6-8 cm long and 1-2 cm wide. In Sanskrit, it is called 'Dronapushpi'. Oblong fruits are nutlets, brown in color; 2-3 mm long. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. The plant is full of medicinal qualities. Whole plant is used to prepare medicine, which is effective in cold and headache. The leaves contain antibacterial elements. It is used to cure psoriasis and scabies. Those are eaten as vegetable