Bangladesh is a rich land of biodiversity. About 6000 species of plants are gathered in such a small area of 147570 sq km.
I am trying to introduce the flora of Bangladesh in a pack from the naturalist view, not from the eye of plant-expert. For this, there will be some unwanted mistakes.
Needless to say, pics used in this site are all original and snapped by me. The information are gathered here from the personal notes, collected books and from different websites.
Shinduri bij or Achiote, Bixa orellana
Shinduri bij or Achiote (Bixa orellana, family: Bixaceae) is an evergreen shrub or small tree with few branches and dense foliage. Dye extracted from seed is used to color ointment. Its original home is tropical America. Red Indians paint their body and lips by the color obtain from its seeds.
Shinny leaves are green, heart-shaped with pointed apex, veins and midribs are clear; 10-18 cm long and 6-12 cm wide, alternate, petiole, 5-7 cm long.
Flowers are very attractive, showy, purple-white, 5 cm across, borne on upright terminal panicles, 7-12 cm long; sepals 5, petals 5, with many stamens. Flower blooms in Autumn-winter.
Fruits are also attractive. They are globose, 3-5 cm across, covered with soft reddish prickles. Seeds covered with a thick red pulp which yields a valuable dye. Leaf, root and seed are used in preventing fever, gonorrhea, jaundice, dysentery and urinary problem.
The plant is propagated by seeds. In Bangladesh it is planted in gardens and parks for fruits and also for flowers. Occasionally, its seed-color is falsely sold at a high price as a Saffron. The beautiful plant is also called by Lotkan in Bangla and Lipstick tree in English. By the by, the vermilion-color is very similar to its seed-color, for this reason, it is known as Shinduri bij in Bangla.
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
Maloncho or Alligator weed (A lternanthera philoxeroides , Amaranthaceae) is an aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial herb rooting at nodes. Stem is juicy, slender and hollow. So the plant can easily float on the water. Other names: Heycha, Hechi-shak, Burma-shak, Bormi-shak. Though the floating plant is found everywhere in Bangladesh, surprisingly it is native to Brazil. In the far past it has been introduced to the subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Flowers are very small, white, on head inflorescence, petals 5. Peduncle is very long. Leaves are green, slightly serrated, linear, elliptic-lanceolate, 3-8 cm long, opposite, acute at the end. Fruit an utricle, ovoid-orbicular or obcordate. Seed is inverse, lenticular, single-seeded. Flowering occurs in the rainy season. Propagation is caused by cutting or seeds. It grows in damp places, near pond and canal etc. Leaves are eaten as vegetables. It is energizing, emollient and reputed to induce
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