Kathal or Jack fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus, family: Moraceae) is a medium-sized leafy tree with many branches. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh as well as Sri Lanka. The fruits are unique in taste, well-smelled, nice-colored and juicy too.
It is one of the most largest fruits of the world. The evergreen tree has milky latex all over its body. The bark of the tree is rough and sometimes it removes scale. Bangladesh and India are the original home of the plant.
The leaves are entire, having bract, ovoid, 15-20 cm long and 10-12 cm wide, alternate, apex acute, coriacious; veins and midribs are clearly visible and those are stout too.
Flowering occurs in December and it continues to March. Flowers borne on spike inflorescence and those are covered with two bracts. In the same tree, the female and male flowers are seen differently. From the main branch of the tree, the female flowers appear.
The peduncle, ovary and perianth, all of them are transformed into a fruit. This type of fruit is called Sorosis. The fruit is obviously a compound one. Fruits are covered with spines all over its body.
The weight of the fruit is usually 8-9 kg. But it can sometimes be 30-40 kg. Fruiting occurs in the month Feb-July. The tree is cultivated commercially for its juicy fruits in Bangladesh. The leaf is used as a goat's food. Seeds are used as vegetables in cooking. Fried seeds are very tasty and nutritious too.
It is a very fruitful tree indeed!
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
Kulekhara or Talmakhna ( Hygrophila auriculata , family: Acanthaceae) is a stout and erect herb with straight and undivided stem. The spiny plant is very popular as a medicinal plant in Bangladesh as well as the Indian subcontinent. Other names: Kulekkha, Kuiley-rekha, Kanta kalika, Shoolmordon. Leaves are lanceolate, subsessile, acute at both ends with long whitish hairs, dense with straight and stout thorns that grow from each node. Outer leaves are longer than the inner ones. Both leaves and thorns remain in upward direction. Flowers in axillary whorls. They are bright violet or bluish purple and red, sometimes whitish with soft and minor hair, corolla 2-lipped. Flower blooms in the winter. Fruit a capsule, 4-8-seeded. Seeds are ovoid (not in the pic). The body of the plant contains alkaloids, phytosterols, stigmasterol, lupeol and essential oils. Its seeds contain oil, enzymes and sterols. The plant is cooling and diuretic in cases of h