Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mohua ful (মহুয়া ফুল) - Madhuca longifolia

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Bengali Name : Mohua ful (মহুয়া ফুল).
Common Name : Indian butter tree, Mahua, etc.
Botanical Name : Madhuca longifolia
Synonym : Madhuca indica, Madhuca latifolia
Family : Sapotaceae (mahua family)

মন মাতানো মিষ্টি গন্ধের একটি ফুল মহুয়া। কি তার সুবাস, গাছের নিচে তো বটেই, গাছ থেকে অনেক দুরে দাড়িয়েও ফুলের গন্ধ পাওয়া যায়। ঢাকা শহরে বেশ কয়েকটি মহুয়া ফুলের গাছ আছে। রমনায় আছে বেশ কয়েকটি। মিন্টু রোডের গেইট দিয়ে ঢুকলে হাতের বামেই গেইটের সাথে পরবে মহুয়ার গাছ। এই গাছ থেকে অরুনোদয় গেইটের দিকে একটু হাটলেই পরবে আরও একটু মহুয়ার গাছ। এছাড়া পার্কের মধ্যে পানির ট্যাঙ্কির কাছেই রয়েছে সব থেকে বড় বাঁধানো মহুয়ার গাছটি। এছাড়া বাসাবো বৌদ্ধ মন্দিরের ভেতরে দেখেছিলাম একটা মহুয়ার গাছ।

মহুয়া নিয়ে অনেক গান আছে, তার মধ্যে আমার পছন্দের একটি গান নিচে দিলাম, যেটায় মহুয়ার কথা উল্লেখ আছে।

কবিতা পড়ার প্রহর এসেছে রাতের নির্জনে
জোনাকির আলো নেভে আর জ্বলে শাল মহুয়ার বনে

There are lot of flowers in this Bangladesh which are famous for their fragrance. Mohua (মহুয়া ফুল) is one of those and produce a powerful fragrance during the blooming season. This alluring flowering plant is native to this Indian subcontinent. Botanical name of the flower is Madhuca longifolia. The common names for this flower are Mohua (মহুয়া) or Mahua (মহুয়া), Indian butter flower, etc. This flowering plant belongs to the family Sapotaceae (mahua family).

Mohua (মহুয়া) is a tall growing plant that mostly resides into the dry forest. It grows naturally at our forest area (not sure how much available this naturally these days). This plant can grow up to 20 meter in height. The wood of the tree is very heavy. This is a fast growing tree. Leafs are slightly larger then a normal sized leaf and having elliptic or ovate shape. Leafs occur as a whirl (of four) around the branches. In Bangladesh the plant is deciduous. It requires full sunlight to grow well.

Mohua flowers (মহুয়া ফুল) are unique in Bangladesh. I have never seen similar shaped flower ever other than this one. Flower blooms as a cluster and hangs from the branch. Small flowers from the cluster are having a very long stalk. The bract of the flower is greyish-pinkish in color (or may be I am a color blind). Flower are creamy white in color and having a ball shaped at the base and 5-6 small petals are attached with that.

Mohua flower (মহুয়া ফুল) uses to bloom during the night and it is very hard to find the flower blooming during the day light. A long tusk (of elephant) like thing (probably the style) is protruded outside from the flower. The flower uses to clamp that long style. Inside the flower it has lot of yellowish powdery thing (probably the pollen). Those spread outside when I have shaken the flower by moving that long tusk.

This Mohua flower (মহুয়া ফুল) is famous for it's fragrance. The blooming season is the February to April here in Bangladesh. And during this time the area near the tree gets heavy with the musky smell from the flowers. One can sense the smell even standing far from the tree. During the morning the ground uses to be covered with the fallen flowers.

This plant is a very good hideout for the Fruit bats. I have seen plenty of such mammals were hanging from the trees and making high pitched noisy sounds. The bears uses to visit this tree during the blooming season. They look for the juicy fragrant flowers from the tree.

Mohua (মহুয়া) flowers are juicy and having a taste of sweet. Tribal people in Bangladesh use to make a raw local wine named 'Mohua (মহুয়া)' with the help of this flower. This flower can be consumed without doing any processing. But eating too much of this can cause intoxication.

Photos of this article were taken from the Romna park, Dhaka (রমনা পার্ক, ঢাকা). It was during March 2015. I was there as a part of my regular visit to observe the birds and flowers. This park has several Mohua (মহুয়া) trees. One at the left side after entering through the Mintu road gate (মিন্টু রোড গেইট) of the park. After walking few meters from the tree towards the Arunodoy gate (অরুনোদয় গেইট) then you'll find another one. Another one is at the center of the park that is the largest one, near the water tank.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...

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