Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Temple plant (বরুণ ফুল) - Crataeva religiosa

Bengali Name : Borun (বরুণ ফুল), Barna (বর্ণা ফুল), Boinna (বৈন্যা ফুল).
Common Name : Temple plant, Sacred garlic pear, Spider tree.
Botanical Name : Crataeva religiosa
Synonym : Crateva religiosa
Family : Capparaceae






The binomial name of the flower is Crataeva religiosa, and if you notice the species name religiosa then you'd probably have realized that the name is related to something religion. And yes it is, this is a sacred flowering plant in India. The leafs of this plant use to worship the Lord Siva (শিব) during the Mahashivaratri (মহা শিবরাত্রি).





It has several common names such as Temple plant, Sacred garlic pear, Spider tree, etc. In Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) it also has several names such as Borun (বরুণ), Borna (বর্ণা), Boinna (বৈন্যা), etc. This plant belongs to the family Capparaceae, and native to the Indian subcontinent along with Southeast Asia.





Spider tree (বরুণ) is a medium sized deciduous plant that is widely available around the Bangladesh (not in Dhaka city). Leafs are trifoliate and aromatic when crushed. Slightly glossy leafs are linearly elliptic and occurs as a cluster with a common petiole. This plant mostly found around the river bank and wetland area.


These are not flower buds, rather these are filament of flower bud.



Flowers are a real beauty of the plant. This plant brings the showy flower profusely. It has four petals which are initially white but later turns into yellowish white (or creamy) in color. Similar to the leafs the flowers also bloom as a cluster. The arrangement of the petals on the flower is not symmetric. All four petals are at the one half of the flower and other half is empty.


The tree at the edge of the Botanical garden.



Temple plant (বরুণ ফুল) flowers are having lot of stamens which are very long and dark purple in color. The filament atop of the stamen also having the same color. The flower buds are slightly different for this flower. Unlike the other flowers these are having stamens and style open (not covered with bract or petals). And the filaments are slightly larger and resembles as a flower bud itself.





Fruits are round shaped and having a color of whitish green or greyish green. They are having a hard shell around and produce a very bad smell when broken. But still this fruit is having few medicinal value (I can't remember any right now).


Notice the yellow flowers around the whites.



This plant is abundantly occurs around the districts Manikganj (মানিকগঞ্জ), Munsiganj (মুন্সিগঞ্জ) along with others near the wetlands (হাওর). Flower blooms during the Spring (March-April) here in Bangladesh and the fruits are available around the rainy season. In some parts the villagers use to fry the green leaf to eat with rice.





Temple plant (বরুণ) is a highly revered medicinal plant. The bark, extract of the root, etc are the main ingredients. Apart from these the leafs are very useful to ripen the green fruits quickly in a natural way. But these days people do not use this technique as the Calcium carbide is widely available and cheap.

















Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh as mentioned below.
1) 03 March 2015: Botanical garden, Mirpur, Dhaka (মিরপুর, ঢাকা).
   It was near the western wall of the premise (beside a pond).
   The GPS coordinate is (23°49'20.98"N, 90°20'42.19"E).



This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Holly Mangrove (হাড়গোজা ফুল) - Acanthus ilicifolius

Bengali Name : Hargoja (হাড়গোজা ফুল), Hargoja (হাড়গজা ফুল), Harkuch (হাড়কুচ ফুল).
Common Name : Holly Mangrove, Sea Holly.
Botanical Name : Acanthus ilicifolius
Family : Acanthaceae






Holly mangrove is a plant from the sea shoreline and not found any other places (from the name 'mangrove' it is easily understandable). This plant is full with thorns (and interestingly at leafs too) but produces a cluster of beautiful flowers. It has another name that is Sea holly. In Bangladesh we call this as Hargoja (হারগোজা), Hargoja (হাড়গজা), or Harkuch (হাড়কুচ).





This plant is native to the South and Southeast Asian seashore and probably later introduced into the Australian region (or vice-versa). Binomial name of the plant is Acanthus ilicifolius. It pertains to the plant family Acanthaceae. Most of the mangrove plants discard the salt from the seawater but this plant keeps the salt in it. That's why the sap of the plant is salty. This is a medicinal plant and people from Southeast Asia use it to soothe rheumatism and neuralgia.





Sea Holly (হাড়গোজা) is an erect herbaceous plant that can grow around 0.5 to 1.5 meter in height. The stem of the plant is yellowish (or reddish yellow) and spiny. Dark green leafs are wavy and having thorn at the upper and lower peak of the wave. This happen when the plant is totally exposed to the sun. Leafs are arranged oppositely and having short petiole.





There is another plant named 'Holly' is having similar type of those 'exposed' leafs of Sea Holly. That's why the plant got the name Sea Holly or Holly mangrove. But remember, the plant doesn't produce such spiny leafs when it is in a heavy shade. So do not get surprised if you see two type of leafs on this plant at different condition!


Thick bush of Holly Mangrove (হাড়গোজা) that is nearly impossible to penetrate.



To me the Holly Mangrove (হাড়গোজা) flowers are delicately beautiful. They are showy and light blue or light violet in color. Blooms as a spike shaped cluster. Blooming season is December to May usually. Plant produces capsule like fruits those explode when ripened. By this way seeds can be dispersed around 2 meter from the parent plant.





This Holly mangrove plant is not a threat for the other plants but it is an invasive one. I have seen this plant growing massively around the mangrove area of our Southern Bangladesh. Those bushes are too dense and it was really difficult for us to move forward by avoiding those thorny leafs and stems.





Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) as mentioned below:
1) 20 December 2014: Sonarchor, Patuakhali (সোনারচর, পটুয়াখালী).


This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Red-whiskered bulbul (সিপাহি বুলবুলি) - Pycnonotus jocosus

Bengali Name : Sipahi bulbuli (সিপাহি বুলবুলি), Chayna Bulbuli (চায়না বুলবুলি).
Common Name : Red-whiskered bulbul.
Binomial : Pycnonotus jocosus
Synonym : Otocompsa emeria
Family : Pycnonotidae






It is a small bird, yet attractive one. Its name is Red-whiskered bulbul for the noticeable red feathers behind the eye (on face). In Bangladesh we call it Sipahi Bulbul (সিপাহি বুলবুলি) that means Soldier Bulbul in English. The name can be a misleading one in Bengali, because these birds are not quarrel like or aggressive, rather they are very quiet and calm bird. But from my understanding, the bird looks like a soldier wearing nice uniform, and also the crest at the top justify the claim strongly.


A white tip is visible at the under-tail.



This small sized attractive bird is native to the tropical Indian region but introduced into other tropical region too. Binomial name of the bird is Pycnonotus jocosus and belongs to the Bulbul bird family Pycnonotidae. This bird was mentioned by the famous botanist Carolus Linnaeus on his book Systema Naturae at 1758.





From my judgement, the Red-whiskered bulbul (সিপাহি বুলবুলি) is one of the many beautiful birds from Bangladesh. This is not frequently seen around city area here in Dhaka or other towns. But at the hilly area, edge of the forest, or at urban garden this bird is prominently seen. This is a frugivorous bird, means mostly live on the fruits.





This small bird is having the upper part is brown in color with the head is black, and has a black cone shaped crest at the top of the head. The front, throat, and underpart of the bird is white in color. The vent is red colored, and also behind the eyes it has red feathers around the mustache line. The beak and the feet are black in color. Both male and female birds are similar in outlook.


Video of Red-whiskered bulbul (সিপাহি বুলবুলি) foraging.



Red-whiskered bulbul (সিপাহি বুলবুলি) mainly seen foraging with a small group or a pair. They restlessly move from one tree to another for searching the fruits. During the breeding season they use to make a small cup shaped nest. Both the parents take part to raise the babies. Initially they feed on caterpillars and insects, but later they change the food habit into fruits while maturing.





At ancient time the bird was a popular one to use as a cage bird (this practice still persists in some places). They had to accept such fate due to their attractive beauty. And being a docile bird people used to train the bird to sit on the hand.





Here the red vent is clearly visible.



A pair of Red-whiskered bulbul (সিপাহি বুলবুলি) foraging.















Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh as listed below:
1) 13 December 2015: Kalenga Reserve Forest, Habiganj (কালেঙ্গা রিসার্ভ ফরেস্ট, হবিগঞ্জ).


This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

শেষ বিকেলের পাখী, আমি যাযাবর...