Kushum or Ceylon oak (Schleichera oleosa, family: Sapindaceae) is a large-sized deciduous tree with spreading canopy and huge trunk, attaining a height up to 40 m. The diameter of the trunk can be up to 2 meters. Bark is grey and smooth. The leaves fall at the end of winter and new leaves come in spring. The leaves are surprisingly red.
Other names: Joyna, Lakkha, Gum tree, Honey tree.
This giant tree can be easily recognized by shiny red leaves. The fruits look a lot like Lotkon and are called by this name somewhere. It can be seen scattered in Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts including the northern part of the country. It is originated in the Southeast region of Asia, especially in India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Leaves are compound, sessile; leaflets elliptic-obovate, 4-20 cm long and 3-9 cm wide, opposite. The extraordinary young leaves are brilliant red in color. These are seen several times a year.
Raceme inflorescence 6-15 cm long. Flowers are greenish yellow, without petals. Flowering occurs Feb-March.
Fruits broadly ovoid to globose, sometimes bilobed, 2-5 cm long, single or 2-seeded. Fruits are edible.
As an ornamental tree it is planted beside avenue, in park, garden and botanical garden in Bangladesh. Oil is extracted from its seeds and it is used in rheumatism, skin diseases and headache and for hair growth. The Santals use its bark for back pain and waist pain. It is also used to light lamps. Its timber is valuable and used to make industrial and agricultural tools. Wood is the finest coal. Bark is used for dyeing clothes. Lac bug is cultivated in the plant somewhere.
Synonym: Schleichera trijuga
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