Kajubadam or Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale, family: Anacardiaceae) is an evergreen medium-sized (30-40 feet) leafy tree with spreading branches. Stem is crooked. It is not indigenous in Bangladesh, though it has been planted in different parts of the country.
Other names: Kaju, Hijli badam.
Leaves are simple, green, 10-18 cm long and 6-10 cm wide, obovate, rough, entire, round at he end and narrow at the base. Flowers are small, yellowish brown, on terminal inflorescence. each cluster contains 400-1200 tiny flowers. Flower blooms in April-May.
Male and bisexual flowers can be seen in a tree. Fruits are born from the bisexual flowers. Fruit is nutty drupe, kidney-shaped, about 2.5 cm long, grey, with hard cover. Immatures fruits are green, turns yellow and red when ripe. Seeds are found naked below the hanging fruits. Propagation is caused by sees and air layering.
It is cultivated for its fruits. Ripe fruit is juicy and tastes good. It is commercially cultivated in India, East Africa, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia. However, the plant is brought by Portuguese in Indian subcontinent almost 400 years ago and they planted it on the shore of South India. Nut is nutritious, purgative and energizing. A kind of liquor is made from the fruit. Bark adhesive is used to pest eradication and to bind books. Ink can be made from this too. Seed oil is preventive of leprosy, worm and rheumatism.
Tulsi o r Sacred basil ( Ocimum tenuiflorum , family: Lamiaceae) is an odorous perennial herb or undershrub with many branches attaining a height of 1-1.5 m. Almost whole body of the plant is covered with hairs. Stem is woody, furrowed and quadrangular. Like many other herbs (Dhutra, Begun, Pepper) the plant can be purple. It is found everywhere in Bangladesh as a medicinal as well as sacred plant to Hindu community. It has spread across a huge global range, extending from the Arabian Peninsula to East Asia as well as Pacific Islands to Australia. Other names: Kalo tulsi (Bang); Tulasi, Ajaka (Sans); Holy basil (Eng). Leaves are strongly scented, green or purple, hairy, ovate-broadly elliptical, 2-5 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide, opposite, irregularly dented, petiole 2-3 cm long. Flowers are tiny, white or purplish, 3-8 on terminal inflorescence (12-25 cm long). Corolla bilabiate, petals 5, calyx divided into two parts, Stamens 4. It produces flower almost round the year. Fruit is n
Guloncho or Heart-leaved moonseed ( Tinospora cordifolia , family: Menispermaceae) is a deciduous creeper with hard and long stem, climbing other trees or fences. Bark on the stem is as thin as paper. Aerial roots come out of the stem when the plant grows older. The plant is found everywhere in Bangladesh except southern part. It is also native to South and Southeast Asia. Common names: Heart-leaved moonseed, Guduchi, Giloy, Guloncho, Guroncho, Padma guloncho. Leaves are simple, green, alternate, cordate, 6-15 cm long and 5-13 cm wide. Inflorescence, growing from the axil of leaflet branches, bears yellow flowers. Male and female flowers bloom separately. Sepals 6, arranged in two rows, petal 6, pistils 3. Fruit is a drupe, brilliant red when ripe. This attractive fruit is inedible to human. What an extensive climber! Tinospora cordifolia is used in weakness, tastelessness, rheumatis
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