Ritha or Soapberry (Sapindus saponaria, family: Sapindaceae) is a a medium-sized much branching tree attaining a height of 15 m. Its bark is dark with rough scales. The deciduous tree is originated from tropical America. Nowadays it has been naturalized in Bangladesh as well as tropical areas of Asia. The good looking tree is found in the North-West region of the country.
Leaves are green, 2-6 pairs per pinnae, 40 cm long, terminal leaf absent. Leaflets almost opposite or alternate, elliptic-lanceolate, 5-15 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, petioled, apex emarginate.
After leaving all the leaves in the winter, new leaves arrives in the beginning of spring.
Flowering occurs in the summer. Inflorescence up to 25 cm long. Flowers creamy white, tomentose. Petals 5. Fruit is drupe, solitary or pair, fleshy, subglobose, 1 cm in diameter, glabrous. Fruiting occurs in rainy season. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
Fibers on inner bark are used for making ropes. Fruits are used as a substitute for soap because of the high amount of saponin. The fruits are used in memory loss disease and breathing difficulties. Fruits are also used in fish poisoning.
Seeds are formally used as buttons and beads. A kind of oil is extracted from the seeds too. In Sanskrit, it is called Arishta and Phenil.
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
Deua or Monkey jack ( Artocarpus lacucha , family: Moraceae) a large tree with large spreading crown, of 12-18 m height. The bark of the deciduous tree is grey and coarse. The type of its fruit reminds us of Jackfruit . It is found in South and Southeast Asia. It is one of the most common trees found in Bangladesh. Other names: Delo madar, deyphol, Deuphol, Dehua, Deua cham, Barta, Dalo, Bon kathal. Leaves are broadly elliptic, entire, rough, brittle, 10-30 cm long and 10-18 cm wide, undulate, back hairy, leathery. Flowers are small, without petals. Male and female flowers grow on the same inflorescence. Female inflorescence has pedicel, though the male one has none. The fruits come from the female flowers. Fruit is a syncarp (multiple fruit, which is fleshy), wavy, velvety, bright yellow or orange when ripe, 5-10 cm in diameter. The fruit is sour-tasted but also somewhat sweet. It is eaten raw or pickled. Seed is oblong and white in color. The pl
Kolmi-lota or Water spinach (I pomoea aquatica , family: Convolvulaceae) is an annual floating herb from Morning glory family. It is found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, most commonly in East, South and Southeast Asia. Stem is soft and creeping nature. It grows in water or on the edge of water bodies. Common names: Kalmilata, Water spinach, River spinach, Water morning glory, Water convolvulus, Swamp cabbage The hollow stems of ipomoea aquatica are 2-5 meters or more long, rooting at the nodes. Leaves are long-petioled, green, ovate-cordate with pointed apex, 5-15 cm long and 2-8 cm wide , alternate. Flowers are whitish-violet or white, showy, single, axillary, funnel-shaped, 3-5 cm in diameter. Flower bloom s mainly in autumn. Propagation is either by planting cuttings of the stem shoots that will root along nodes or planting the seeds from flowers that produce seed pods. It is useful in pox and in