Monday, December 7, 2015

Bohera ful (বহেড়া ফুল) - Terminalia bellirica

Bengali Name : Bohera (বহেড়া), Bahera (বহেড়া), Baheda (বহেড়া).
Common Name : Bahera, Belliric Myrobalan, Beach Almond.
Botanical Name : Terminalia bellirica
Synonym : Myrobalanus bellirica
Family : Combretaceae

Today I am going to write about a medicinal plant that is very popular in this Indian subcontinent since the ancient time. Locally the plant is known as Bohera or Boheda (বহেড়া). Binomial name of the plant is Terminalia bellirica and it belongs to the plant family Combretaceae. This plant is native to our Indian region but having few other common names such as Beach almond, Belliric Myrobalan, etc.

Though this plant is abundantly seen at our neighboring countries, but not frequently seen in our country Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) these days. It is a tall growing plant that can reach up to 20 meter in height. The shape of the leaf are elliptic and having a long petiole. The veins of the leaf are alternately arranged. Young leafs are coffee/reddish in color.

Flowers are not that much attractive from Bohera (বহেড়া) plant. Small flowers borne around a long spike that arises from the axil of the leaf. The flowers are greenish-yellowish in color and the center of the flower is maroon (or dark pink) in color. Flowers are having 10-12 prominent long stamens which are much noticeable rather then the flowers. It produces almond like fruits having a hard shell around.

Bohera (বহেড়া) is highly revered in Indian herbal medicine since the ancient time. The Bohera (বহেড়া) fruit is one of fruit from the Triphala (ত্রিফলা) [means three fruits] that is mentioned in Ayurveda. Few of the medicinal uses are against stomach disorders (diarrhea, dysentery, etc), stomach worms, sooth the cough, etc. Some people believe that taking a deep breath under this tree (regularly) can make a person healthy and cure from several diseases (I don't have any reference right now!).

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh as mentioned below:
1) April, May 2015: Ramna park, Dhaka (রমনা পার্ক, ঢাকা).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pink Swamp Mallow - Abelmoschus sagittifolius

Bengali Name : ?
Common Name : Pink swamp mallow, Creeping Pink Swamp Hibiscus.
Botanical Name : Abelmoschus sagittifolius
Synonym : Abelmoschus coccineus
Family : Malvaceae (mallow family)

There are lot of foreign flowers in Bangladesh which are not often seen but have the potential adaptability with our environment and weather. The Pink Swamp Mallow is one such flower. It belongs to the plant family Malvaceae. Binomial name of the plant is Abelmoschus sagittifolius. This plant is native around the Eastern Asian region and was first mentioned by the German botanist Wilhelm Sulpiz Kurz.

Pink Swamp Mallow is a small growing herbaceous plant that can reach around a meter in height at max (most of the cases). This plant is hairy and having rough foliage. Leafs are having variable shape (near to a shape of an arum or palmate). Leafs are having a long petiole. This is a perennial plant and can be easily confused with few other plants from the same family.

A closer look to the stigma of the flower.

Flowers are showy and a typical hibiscus architecture. Color of the flower is pink or rosy with having a centered white. It has five petals and arranged as flat. The long style of the flower is thoroughly covered with yellow stamens. At the top of the style the flower has five pink stigma. These flowers are not scented.

This particular species is grown as an ornamental plant. But at where it grows naturally, such places are wetlands, paddy fields, edge of the forest, etc. I have first seen this plant bearing flowers at Road #19 at Banani, Dhaka. Later I have found few of the plants at the Nursery of Ramna Park, Dhaka.

A capsul like fruit of Pink Swamp Mallow.

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) as mentioned below:
1) 24 June 2015: Banani, Dhaka (বনানী ঢাকা).
2) 13 September 2014: Romna park, Dhaka (রমনা পার্ক, ঢাকা).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Oleander flower (রক্ত করবী ফুল) - Nerium oleander

Bengali Name : Korobi (করবী), Rokto korobi (রক্তকরবী).
Common Name : Oleander.
Botanical Name : Nerium oleander
Synonym : Nerium indicum
Family : Apocynaceae (oleander family)

Our today's flower is Oleander. The bright side of the flower is the beauty, and the dark side is the toxicity. Yes, it is a highly poisonous ornamental plant. Current botanical name of the flower is Nerium oleander but previously it was Nerium indicum (a synonym now a days). This belongs the the plant family Apocynaceae where other oleanders reside.

From the species name indicum it is easily understandable that the flower is native to this Indian region (but still scholars doubt about it). Because now a days people cultivate this at tropical and sub-tropical region. I don't know other name of the flower except Oleander. In Bangladesh we call this as Korobi (করবী) or Rokto korobi (রক্ত করবী).

Oleander is a shrubby (or small tree) plant that can grow around 2-6 meter in height. Leafs are slim, long and having lovely leathery foliage. Leafs are arranged oppositely (also available in a whorl of three). The plant produces a sticky latex when broken. This plant is an evergreen plant.

Flowers are strikingly bright and beautiful. I have only seen this flower in two colors, pink/red and white. The flowers bloom in a small cluster having five petals. The reproduction portion of this flower is having a unique signature in my observation. The flower has a mild sweet fragrance.

As the plant is highly poisonous, it doesn't have too many insect enemies. Oleander plant has few medicinal uses too. In Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) we use to put this plant at the middle of the road dividers as a part of beautification. The famous Bengali poet Robindranath Tagore (রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর) had written a play in Bengali language titled as Roktokorobi (রক্তকরবী) that is after the Bengali name of the flower.

Oleander flower buds in a cluster.

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) as mentioned below:
1) 04 April 2015: Agargaon, Dhaka (আগারগাঁও, ঢাকা).
2) 30 May 2015: Dhanmondi, Dhaka (ধানমন্ডি, ঢাকা).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A daylong walking on the route Dhaka-Rupganj-Dhaka

Friday, 20 February 2015

It is during the month of blockades in Bangladesh when most of the roads from the country were difficult to travel for the political unrest. I don't want to move to far from Dhaka for this reason. That's why my traveling has halted and it is only limited inside or around Dhaka by doing bird watching or flower observation.

A Black drongo (ফিঙে পাখি).

Today is another big day, a day of Spring. The winter has just passed but still the chilling feeling is available at the morning and evening. But the day is still hot like typical Bangladeshi spring. This time I have made a crazy plan. Walking from Dhaka towards Rupganj (রূপগঞ্জ) and return back to Dhaka from there by walking again. See, the road blockaded are not a big deal for us!

A Cattle egret (গো বক).

We have started our walking from the Trimohoni (ত্রিমোহনী) that is near to Dhaka. The walking was through the less dense village road, not surrounded by too many houses around. Farmers have just planted the paddy on their field and that looks a vast green field. As we were progressing the heat was increasing accordingly. The road was slightly parallel with the canal but wasn't visible always for the trees and houses.

A group of farmers are working on a field.

At one stage the canal has joined with the river Balu (বালু নদী) that is probably the boundary between the Narayanganj (নারায়ানগঞ্জ) and Dhaka (ঢাকা). It is not a busy area and not too many people cross the river around that place. So there was only one boat and that helped us to cross the river. The water was too much black like other rivers around Dhaka.

A farmer taking back grass home.

I thought there would be a walking road at the other side of the river. But in fact there wasn't any. It was only the farmer's cultivated fields around with various type of seasonal crops (i.e. radish, cauliflower, broccoli, etc). We had to walk through the border of the fields and those were too much narrow sometimes.

A farmer fertilizing the field.

During this walking we have seen lot of farmers were working for different purposes around the fields. Some of them were working alone, and few were working in a group. It is so near from the Dhaka, but still giving us the feeling of a raw village with all the properties. There were lot of common birds like Starling, Black drongo, and Sparrow around the fields.

A farmer fertilizing the field.

After having a reasonable amount of walking through the fields we have finally found a road for walking. Amid of the road we have found a lot of sparrow like birds were flying around and we have almost ignored them. But the behavior of the birds were different than the regular sparrows. So we have stopped walking and found that they were not sparrow, but the Baya weaver birds (বাবুই পাখি). Most of the weaver birds were female and only found one there male (identified by the yellow breeding plumage on head). But that was only for few seconds and couldn't take any photo of that!

A Baya weaver bird (বাবুই পাখি).

Initially the roads were dusty specially for dry spring, but later the condition has improved. This time the road was having lot of trees at both sides and providing us a nice shed. Lot of small birds were chirping from those trees which were packed with green leafs. It was very difficult to locate the birds. So we gave up and enjoyed the calls from the birds. The call of the Common Iora bird was very interesting as it was calling like fotik-jol fotik-jol continuously. And for your information, the name of the bird in Bengali is Forik jol (ফটিক জল).

A Baya weaver bird (বাবুই পাখি).

During our walking, we have found a small bazaar on our way. It was around the mid day and we have given a pause on a small stall and had some snacks. After that we have started walking again. This time the beauty of the road was even more than previous. It was slightly straight line like road with lot of greens around. The road wasn't crowded with too many vehicles either. During this walking we have found lot of Indian pond heron, Little egret, Long tailed shrike, etc common birds.

A beautiful road.

Despite of the heat, we were still enjoying the walking for the natural beauty around. Our walking ends when we have reached at the bank of the great Shitalakkha river (শীতলক্ষা নদী). We have crossed the river with the regular boats from the river bank. At the other side of the bank, it is the great Murapara Jomidar Bari (মুড়াপারা জমিদার বাড়ি). I have visited this place before in 2010. But still we have explored the old edifies.

A Long tailed shrike (বাঘাটিকি).

We have found the starling with crest inside the mansion. They were in a great numbers there. We have taken few photos of those birds. After that we have reached at the back side of the mansion where there has a small pond. We were standing there and watching around. A Brahminy Kite (শঙ্খ চিল) was perched on a high branch of a tree at far sight. Few little cormorant (পানকৌড়ি) were seen too.

Pituli flower (পিটুলি ফুল).

That area was having lot of water lands around (few for farming fish). We have found several Bronze winged jacana (জল পিপি / দল পিপি) birds were foraging over the wet lands. We didn't expect such bird on there. Apart from the birds, there were few vegetable plants were available around. We found few were with flowers, so collected those too.

A Little egret (ছোট বগা).

Before leaving the old Jomidar bari (জমিদার বাড়ি), we have seen a couple of Parrot, a Spotted owl, and a Small minivet (ছোট সহেলী). The orange color of the minivet was like a fire. They were 3/4 in numbers and was moving restlessly. Also the naughty kids from the village were chasing the birds with slings too. They have even caught a starling and later skinned that out and carrying that with them. I didn't like that slaughtering!

A Little egret (ছোট বগা).

Now it's time to return back to Dhaka. We have decided to return back through another route. This time we have taken a rickshaw and asked him to drop us farther from there so that we could use the alternate route. We have used the rickshaw to avoid walking through the Rupganj (রূপগঞ্জ) town. Again we have crossed the river with a boat, and started walking!

Indian Pond heron (কানি বগ).

After a few minutes of walking we have found a nicely designed house on the road side. On a such village like area, that kind of house was interesting. It was having very high wall around. But slightly can be seen inside through the gates. We have seen that lot of people have gathered around that house and there were also few of small mobile stalls (foods mostly) selling to the people. It was funny that people has considered that places as a time passing place (recreation spot)!

In front of the Murapara Jomidar Bari (মুরাপারা জমিদার বাড়ি).

It was the day that was started closing. So we have started moving faster to reach Dhaka within the daylight. We were laughing at one stage about thinking where we going! We were going to Dhaka by having a walk? Crazy, isn't?

A Mango garden.

Mango flower (আমের মুকুল).

Inside the Murapara Jomidar Bari (মুরাপারা জমিদার বাড়ি).

A crested starling (ঝুটি শালিক).

A crested starling (ঝুটি শালিক).

A Brahminy kite perching on a high of a tree.

Shimul ful (শিমুল ফুল).

Bronze winged jacana (জলপিপি / দলপিপি).

A wetland covered with small hyacinths.

A nearly fallen date palm tree.

Tomato flower.

Green tomato.

Flower of Bitter squash (করল্লা ফুল).

Bitter squash (করল্লা ফুল).

I have never seen a Little cormorant (পানকৌড়ি) on a tree before!

Can you locate the parrot inside the green?

A Spotted owl bird.

It seems like the color of the bird like a fire. It is Small minivet.

These egrets are returning home, and so do we!

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog