Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shimul Ful(শিমুল ফুল) - Bombax ceiba

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Common Name : Red Silk Cotton.
Bengali Name : Shimul Ful, শিমুল ফুল
Botanical Name : Bombax ceiba
Synonym: Salmalia malabarica
Family : Bombacaceae(Baobab family)

বসন্তের ফুল শিমুল, কিন্তু গাছে ফুল আশা শুরু হয় শীতের শেষ থেকেই... পাতা ঝরে যাওয়া ন্যাড়া গাছকে আগুন রাঙা লাল রঙে রাঙিয়ে দেয় প্রকৃতি... বাংলায় কবি সাহিত্যিকরা যখনই পলাশকে উল্লেখ করেছেন তাদের লেখায়, সাথে সাথে তখন এই শিমুলের নামও নিয়েছেন... গাছের ফুল অনেক উচু ডালে থাকায় আমি কখনও ছবি তুলতে পারি নাই... এইবার আমার সঙ্গী সাথীদের কাছে তুলনামূলক ভালো ক্যামেরা থাকায় তাদেরকে কিছু ছবি তুলে দিতে অনুরোধ করেছিলাম... আজকের লেখায় তাদের সেই ছবিগুলো ব্যবহার করা হয়েছে...

In Bangladesh(বাংলাদেশ) we call this Shimul Ful(শিমুল ফুল). This is a very tall tree which brings numerous red flowers at the end of the winter(till spring). Common name of the flower is Red Silk Cotton. Botanical name is Bombax ceiba. It belongs to the family Bombacaceae.

Shimul(শিমুল) is naturally a very tall(can be 20 to 60 meter) and straight tree. It use to have thorns when young, but those thorns become woody accruing the growth. Palmate leafs are having 6 leaflets and use to be deciduous at winter.

When the tree is empty(no leafs), it brings thousands of red flower which just cover the tree and gives a fiery red color. Flowers are slight larger and the petals are a bit thick. Front side of the petal is red in color and smooth, whereas the back side of the flower is faded and slight rough.

Flowers are having a large quantity of nectar inside, which attracts various kind of honey suckling birds. In our country, the Shalik(শালিক) is the most prominent among those birds. They use to build nests around the tree during the flowering season. Also the parrots use to build permanent nest(regardless the season) at the most top branch of the tree for security.

Flowers are having a stigma at the middle and an array of stamens around it. Stamens are having a blackish filament atop. During our childhood we used to play with those stamens. Two players could play that game. Each player is having a stamen and the filaments are locked together. Then each player used to pull that stamen towards them. If your filament is dislocated from the stamen, you are the loser and your opponent is one up.

The number of this tree is diminishing from our country. But once upon a time it was seen here and there. Alongside of it's beauty, this tree has a lot of uses in our life. It produces the finest silk to make pillow, which is simply the best for the comfort. The wood of the tree is using to make the match sticks. Even the dropped flowers under the tree can be a fodder for the domestic animals as well.

Photos of this article were taken from Botanical Garden of Mymensingh(ময়মনসিংহ) Agricultural University. It was the month of March from 2013. Few of the photos of this article were captured by 'Maverick' and 'Enigmatic', those who were my travel mates.

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