Mankochu or Giant taro (Alocasia macrorrhizos, family: Araceae) is a rhizomatous evergreen herb with soft, smooth and round stem up to 15-18 cm in diameter. Usually it can get a height of 1 to 2 m. It is one of the most popular vegetables in Bangladesh. The perennial plant is found everywhere in Bangladesh, especially in rural areas.
Common names: Giant alocasia, Elephant ear, Upright Elephant ear.
Upright leaves are gigantic and very attractive too; about 1 m long, green and heart-shaped, dented with pointed or round end, petiole is almost 1 m long covering the stem.
Inflorescence is a spadix, small flowers are covered with spathe. Spathe is divided in to two parts, upper part is 20-25 cm long and the lower is 3-5 cm long. Flower blooms in the autumn (Sep-Oct). Fruit is orange or reddish.
Propagation is by rhizome. It is planted mainly in rainy season. Its fleshy frond and leaves are used as vegetable which is nutritious.
It reduces constipation, allergy, piles, sore in tongue and ear. The stem is eaten to produce rheumatic pain. Powder of dry stem cures jaundice. It is also used when the stomach is upset. The stem and petiole contain protein, Vitamin B & C and iron.
It can be planted in the garden and park for its extraordinary beautiful leaves. It is found in India, South and Southeast Asia as well as the Pacific islands.
Til or Sesame ( Sesamum indicum , family: Pedaliaceae) is an annual herb with hollow stem and branches attaining a height of 50 to 100 cm. Sesame or Til seed is one of the oldest oil-seed crops o f t h e w o r l d. The plant is originated in Africa. It is cultivated as crop throughout the tropical world. Leaves are opposite, broad lanceolate, dark green, 4- 14 cm long with an entire margin . Flower is hairy, white or light pink, borne on leaf axil; 3-5 cm long with a four-lobed mouth. In Bangladesh, i t blooms generally in April-May. Sesame fruit is a rectangular capsule, 2-7 cm long, covered with tiny soft hair . Tiler khaja, a type of sweetened food made from sesame seed is very popular in Bangladesh. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. Seeds are usually off-white in c o l o r. Sesame is energizing, carminative and diuretic. It increases breast milk and sperms in male. It has been found useful in dyspepsia a
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
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