Sunday, May 3, 2015

Konok Chapa (কনকচাঁপা ফুল) - Ochna squarrosa


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Bengali Name : Konok Chapa (কনকচাঁপা ফুল), Ramdhan Chapa (রামধন চাঁপা ফুল).
Common Name : Mickey Mouse Plant, Ramdhan Champa, Golden champak.
Botanical Name : Ochna squarrosa
Synonym : Ochna obtusata
Family : Ochnaceae






অসম্ভব সুন্দর আর সুগন্ধি যুক্ত এই ফুলের নাম কনকচাঁপা (অনেকে লিখে কনক চাঁপা)। ফুলটির আদি নিবাস আমাদের এই বাংলাদেশ সহ আশেপাশের কয়েকটি দেশে হলেও এখন আর খুব একটা এই দেশে দেখা যায় না। হাতে গোনা মাত্র কয়েকটি গাছ আছে। তার মধ্যে ঢাকায় আমার জানা মতে আছে দুইটি। তার একটি আবার রমনা পার্কে প্রফেসর দ্বিজেন শর্মার লাগানো। আজকের ফুলের সব ছবিগুলো সেই গাছের থেকে নেয়া। গাছ ছোট আকৃতির কিন্তু ফুল আনে অসংখ্য। শীতের সময় ঝরিয়ে ফেলে সব পাতা, আর বসন্তের সময় কফি রঙের কচি পাতায় ভরে যায় ছোট গাছটি। কচি পাতার সাথেই হাজার ফুলের ডালি সাজিয়ে বসে গাছটি। খুব বেশিদিন এই ফুল গাছে থাকে না।





It is a very beautiful attractive but rare flower in Bangladesh. We know this as Konok Chapa (কনকচাঁপা ফুল) in Bangladesh, but it has several other names like Ramdhan Chapa (রামধন চাঁপা), Muchkundo Chapa (মুচকুন্দ চাঁপা) [or simply Muchkundo (মুচকুন্দ)], etc. It is a native plant to our Bangladesh along with few other countries from this Indian subcontinent. Common or English names of the flower are Mickey Mouse Plant, Ramdhan Champa, Golden champak, etc. Binomial name of this beautiful flowering plant is Ochna squarrosa.





Though the plant's name is Chapa (চাঁপা), but actually it doesn't belong to the Chapa (চাঁপা) family, rather it belongs to a different plant family named Ochnaceae. The English name is the Golden Champak which literally means Shorno Chapa (স্বর্ণ চাঁপা) in Bengali. But we have a different flower by that name. That's why the experts have chosen the name Konok Chapa (কনক চাঁপা). And for your information, in Bengali the word Konok (কনক) also means golden or gold.





Konok Chapa (কনকচাঁপা) is a small growing deciduous plant (or shrub) that can reach in between 5-8 ft in height. It is a single stem plant having branched at the top. It drops all its leafs during the winter and brings lovely glossy coffee or red colored leafs during spring. Leafs are 6-12 cm long and obovate or elliptic in shape. Mature leafs are green and having a lovely foliage. Leafs are smooth at the upper side and slightly rough at the bottom side.





Blooming season for the Konokchapa flower (কনকচাঁপা ফুল) is end of the spring (which is March - early April) here in Bangladesh. This can be a small shrubby plant but brings numerous showy golden yellow flowers. It brings the flower when there is the verdant coffee or red colored leafs. Later the plant gets covered with green leafs but the plant still keep growing flowers for few weeks, and then stop blooming.





I have already mentioned that the flower Konok Chapa (কনকচাঁপা ফুল) is an attractive flower. Flowers bloom as a cluster and the small buds are capsule like. Small flowers are yellow, golden in color. It has 8-12 lens like petals. At the center it has a long style having a stigma atop. The style is surrounded by lot of yellow-orange filaments. This flower is full with pollens and attracts lot of bees and other insects.





After the successful pollination the Konok Chapa flower (কনকচাঁপা ফুল) turns into a fruit which is green initially. The bracts of the flower turns into red and covers those fruits. Small fruits are attached to the round object which I don't know what it is (may be a portion of the fruit? But it was the ovary when it was a flower). Anyway, the number of such green things are 3-5 and when they drop out from the fruit then that looks like a shape of a Mickey Mouse [please check bellow for such images]. That's why this plant is also known as Mickey mouse plant.





Another thing I forgot to mention, this flower is highly appreciated for its fragrance. It is a highly scented flower. But I didn't find that much strong smell from the tree when it was fully bloomed. I could be because of my nose problem, or could be our environment that is too much polluted. People used to keep this flower in between the books and garments for the lovely fragrance.





As I told you before, this a rare plant in Bangladesh these days. We have only few trees around. As per my knowledge we have two trees, one at the Romna park (রমনা পার্ক), and another one at Shishu Academy (শিশু একাডেমি) premise. Both are at Dhaka. My photos were taken from the Romna park (রমনা পার্ক). You have to enter inside the park through the Orunodoy (অরুনোদয়) gate and have to reach near the nursery which is at the other side. Then you have to turn right and walk for a while. Or you can enter inside through the Nursery gate as well. The GPS coordinate of the Konok Chapa (কনকচাঁপা) plant is (23°44'25.24"N, 90°23'55.53"E). This was planted by the great boss Professor Dwijen Sharma (দ্বিজেন শর্মা).





I have a plan to collect the seed of this plant and then plant it to my village. I don't know whether I'll be succeeded or not, but I'll give a try. For your information, this plant can be propagated using the seeds of from hard wood cutting. But from seed it will be faster and from cutting it will be very slow growing.





This beautiful flowering plant has few medicinal uses. Few uses are for digestion, against the snake bite, inflammation, and to fix menstrual problem for females.











The plant with coffee colored leafs during March.



Same plant with mature green leaf during April.



The green fruit of the plant.



It looks like Mickey Mouse, isn't it?



Lovely fruit of the plant.























































































Photos of this article were taken from the country Bangladesh. It was inside the Ramna park of Dhaka (রমনা পার্ক, ঢাকা). This was planted by the great professor Dwijen Sharma (দ্বিজেন শর্মা) who is renowned for his work with the plants in Bangladesh. GPS coordinate of the Konokchapa (কনকচাঁপা) plant is (23°44'25.24"N, 90°23'55.53"E). I have taken the photos during various dates as mentioned below:

1) 26 March 2015: Flowers with coffee or red colored leafs.
2) 03 April 2015: Flowers with green mature leafs.
3) 29 April 2015: Mickey mouse like fruit and no flower on tree.


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

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...



4 comments:

  1. many many thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for your nice presentation and articles about on this konok chapa.

    ReplyDelete
  3. কত কিছুই যে জানার আছে এ ভূবনে। কিন্তু আকাঙ্খা থাকা সত্ত্বেও আমি তো তেমন কিছুই জানতে পারলাম না। তবে জানার চেষ্টাটা জারী রেখেছি।
    সম্মানিত লেখকের দুর্লভ দেশাল উদ্ভিদ কনকচাঁপার উপর অত্যন্ত সুন্দর উপস্থাপনাটা পড়ে খুবই ভাল লাগলো। অনেক অনেক ধন্যবাদ।

    ReplyDelete
  4. Loved your detailed write up.

    ReplyDelete