Jongoilla shak or Dogal tree, Sarcochlamys pulcherrima

Jongoilla shak or Dogal tree (Sarcochlamys pulcherrima, family: Urticaceae) is a large shrub or small tree, attaining a height of 2-5 m. Young shoots are somewhat multi-angled and covered with minute hairs. The evergreen plant is found near the streams or fountains in the forests of Sylhet, Chattogram and Chattogram Hill Tracts. It has been also found in the Southern coastal region and in Netrokona. In addition to the country, it can be found in several South and South Asian countries.  

Other names: Moriccha, Achila, Pahari kewra.

Leaves are beautiful, shiny green and rough, slightly leathery, narrowly lanceolate, 12-18 cm long and 2-4 cm wide, petioled, alternate, 3-veind, mainly but have numerous irregular vein-like marks; edge regularly toothed, tip pointed. Upper part of the blade is shiny green, lower is whitish green. Stipules are tiny, reddish.

Flowers are in branched spikes. These are dioecious (female and male are in separate plant). Fruit is achene. It is propagated by seeds. 

The twigs, leaves and fruits of the plant are eaten as vegetables by local people. Leaves are used in flatulece, eye diseases, jaundice, lactopania, eczema. Fibre and a kind of dye are obtained from its body. It can be planted as an ornamental plant in garden and parks for its spectacular leaves and bushy-natured body. Perhaps, the genus name Pulcherrima (beautiful) derived from its dazzling leaves.

Synonyms: Urtica pulcherrima, Sphaerotylos medogensis


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