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, cordate at base, deeply dented.
Its flowers have a great resemblance to Chichinga or Snake gourd flowers. Flowers are exceptional, in a word wonderful. These are unisexual, growing from the axil of leaves, funnel-shaped, having long tube, 5-7 cm long. Petals 5 with crown-like appendix. Like many other white flowers it blooms at night. Flowering occurs in the rainy season.
Many-seeded fruit is almost round or oval-shaped, brilliant red in color, 5 cm in diameter. Seeds are thin, smooth and grey. Although it looks eye-catching, it is inedible to human. In fact, it is a poisonous fruit. But it is a favorite food of birds. The fruits ripen in Aug-Sept. Propagation of the plant is caused by seeds.
Fruits play a very beneficial role in asthma. These are also used in nose and ear wounds. Roots are used in boil. Seeds are used in laxative.
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
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
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