Asam lota or Bitter vine (Mikania micrantha, family: Asteraceae) is a perennial extensive climber. It can be easily found in fallow lands, crop fields and roadside areas in Bangladesh. It is an invasive species. Usually with the help of a tree it climbed up. In case of small tree it does serious damage.
Other names: Bharoti-lota, Rabon lota, Tara-lota.
Leaves are opposite, green, ovate to cordate, edge sometimes uneven, sometimes wavy, petiole long, sometimes dark green, sometimes pale. The size of the vine or its leaves differ on the basis of soil fertility.
Branched inflorescence comes out from leaf axil. Flower is white or pale white. Each branch contains three to four white flowers. Numerous branches occurs together. Therefore, the flower cluster seems quite large.
It spreads quickly in rainy season. So it causes serious damage to crops then. Especially it does a great damage to Sal forest and Tea plantation. Although it is quite effective to prevent soil erosion.
Fruit is pentagonal, called achene. Its propagation is caused by seeds. In such a way the smart creeper stays with green leaves that it cannot easily be seen. The leaves and young branches are the favourite meal of cattle.
Its leaves and branch contain protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A, B and C. Leaves are used in pain, allergy and itching. People of Africa eat its leaves as vegetables.
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
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
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