Monday, March 28, 2016

Texas sage flower - Leucophyllum frutescens

Bengali Name : টেক্সাস স্যাজ.
Common Name : Texas sage, Purple sage, Texas silverleaf, etc.
Botanical Name : Leucophyllum frutescens
Family : Scrophulariaceae

Name of the flower is Texas sage, from the name it is easily understandable about the origin of this flowering plant. Apart from Texas and America it is also native to the Mexican region. It has several common names such as Texas rangers, Wild lilac, Purple sage, Barometer bush, etc.

The plant prefers warm and desert climate to grow (poor soil condition). As Bangladesh is much warmer during the summer, I believe it is a reason behind the plant to grow well in Bangladesh. Although it doesn't grow as bushy and dense as of the native region. Anyway, binomial name of the plant is Leucophyllum frutescens and it pertains to the plant family Scrophulariaceae.

Texas sage is a shrubby plant which is very dense. It is a semi evergreen plant. The leafs are silvery (hence another name Silverleaf sage). The reason behind the silvery because of the grayish hairy things on it. Wooly leafs are wavy, and alternately arrange around the stem. Shape of the leafs are elliptical or oval.

Texas sage brings numerous flowers on it. The color of the flower is purple, lavender, etc. It is having a tubular shape with five lobbed petals. Upper lip comprises of two closely placed petals, whereas the lower lip contains three petals which are having a gap in between. In native region the plant gets covered with flower, but in Bangladesh it only brings few flowers (still quite a lot).

It requires humidity to pop out the flowers for this plant. That's why the plant brings the flower before the rain. At the native region the plant is also known as Barometer bush (name shared with few other similar plants from the genus for this forecasting ability).

Photos of this article were taken from the roadside near the road at Badda, Dhaka, Bangladesh (বাড্ডা, ঢাকা, বাংলাদেশ). It was in front of a patrol refuel pump. GPS coordinate is (23°46'14.80"N, 90°25'29.18"E). It was the month of June 2015 when the flowers were blooming.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hongsolota ful (হংসলতা ফুল) - Aristolochia elegans

Bengali Name : Hongsolota ful (হংসলতা ফুল).
Common Name : Calico, Elegant Dutchman's pipe, Pipe vine.
Botanical Name : Aristolochia elegans
Family : Aristolochiaceae

ফুলের নাম হংসলতা দেখে মোটেও ভাবার উপায় নাই যে ফুলটা আমাদের দেশীয় ফুল। বরং এইটা দক্ষিন আমেরিকা অঞ্চলের একটি ফুল। বাংলাদেশে খুব একটা দেখা মেলেনা এই ফুলের। বলধা গার্ডেনে আছে একটা কি দুইটা গাছ, কিন্তু সেখানের যে অবস্থা, তাই যাবার আর জো নাই। আজকের এই লেখার সাথের ফুলের ছবিগুলো তুলেছিলাম নেপালের গার্ডেন অফ ড্রিমস থেকে। ফুলের নাম হংসলতা কিভাবে হলো তা ফুলের আকৃতি দেখলেই বোঝা যায়। কিন্তু কে দিল এমন সুন্দর নাম, তা সঠিক বলতে পারছি না। আমার প্রিয় একজন লেখক বিভূতিভূষণ তার আরণ্যক বইতে এই ফুলের কথা উল্লেখ করেছেন।

Our today's flower is Pipe vine flower. It has some other names such as Dutchman's pipe, Calico, etc. This flower is native to South American region and very rarely seen in Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ). In fact we have only two plant of this flower at Boldha Garden, Dhaka (there may have more which I don't know). Botanical name of the flowering plant is Aristolochia elegans and belongs to the plant family Aristolochiaceae. In Bengali we call this flower as Hongsholota ful (হংসলতা ফুল).

Aristolochia elegans (হংসলতা) is an evergreen vine plant having thick green foliage leafs. Leafs are glossy and heart shaped. The plant uses to crawl over fence or any other supports it gets. The stem can be woody and the plant can reach up to 3-5 meter in length. In it's native region the plant can be a weed around the closed forest region. Also it is seen around the roadside and wastelands.

The shape of this beautiful flower is quite unusual. It has a similarity with the ducks when the petals (not sure whether they are called petals or not) are closed. That's why it got a name like Hongsholota (হংসলতা) in Bengali, literally means duck-vine. The color of the flower is greenish white at one side, and other side is having nicely decorated pattern with color maroon. The greenish tubular portion of the flower looks like a 19th century Dutch pipe and hence it is called as Elegant Dutchman's pipe flower in English.

The whole part of the plant is poisonous when ingested! Fruits of this plant are solid cylindrical shaped. The seeds use to burst out from the ripen fruit. Seeds are light and can travel through air. This plant reproduces through the seeds mostly.

Photos of this article were taken from the Garden of Dreams, Nepal at 10th of July 2015.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Common iora (ফটিকজল পাখি) - Aegithina tiphia

Bengali Name : Fotikjol (ফটিকজল).
Common Name : Common iora, Indian Iora.
Binomial/Scientific Name : Aegithina tiphia
Family : Aegithinidae

Common iora is a very restless small little bird from our Indian subcontinent that is very much available in our Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ). It belongs to the bird family Aegithinidae and binomial name of the bird is Aegithina tiphia. In Bengali we call the bird as Fotikjol (ফটিকজল). It has several other common names in English such as Indian iora, Black-winged iora, etc.

This small bird is having the primary color is greenish yellow (or olive). The upper part is darker in color while the underpart is lighter in color. The wings are black (or greenish black) with a touch of prominent white. The male and female birds are slightly different from each other during the breeding season. Male birds use to have a black cap and more black at the wing and upper part during the breeding season. The feet and beak of the bird is having a color of lead.

Common iroa can be seen more or less everywhere in Bangladesh including human proximity and forest. This small bird can not fly that much in a single go. They are very restless and always keep moving from one branch to another. Most of the time they use to remain under the leafs and searching for small insects. That is why they are slightly harder to notice despite of their loud calls.

They have several calls but I have heard one during one of my traveling. It was something like fo-tik-jol fo-tik-jol and they were continuously making that call. I believe it is a reason behind the bird having a Bengali name Fotikjol(ফটিকজল).

Can you see the bird inside the leafs?

Common iora's breeding season is the rainy season (June-August). Both the male and female work together to prepare the nest. They mostly feed on the small insects, larva, etc. The female lays 2-4 eggs, but most cases seen 3 eggs inside the nest.

Photos of this article were taken from the following location of Bangladesh:
01) 07 November 2014: Pakutia, Tangail (পাকুটিয়া, টাঙ্গাইল).
02) 06 March 2015: National Botanical Garden, Dhaka.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

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