Saturday, June 13, 2015

Scarlet cordia (রক্তরাগ ফুল) - Cordia sebestena

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Bengali Name : Roktorag ful (রক্তরাগ ফুল).
Common Name : Scarlet cordia, Geiger tree, Spanish cordia, etc.
Botanical Name : Cordia sebestena
Synonym : Sebesten sebestena
Family : Boraginaceae

আজকের ফুলের নাম রক্তরাগ ফুল। অত্যন্ত সুন্দর নজরকাড়া উজ্জ্বল রঙের একটি ফুল এই রক্তরাগ। ফুলের রঙ হয় টকটকে লাল বা কমলা লাল। তাই যিনি এই ফুলের নাম দিয়েছেন নিঃসন্দেহে বলা যায় তা সার্থক হয়েছে। এই ফুলটি কিন্তু মোটেও আমাদের দেশী ফুল নয়। এর আদি নিবাস আমেরিকা অঞ্চলে। ঠিক কিভাবে এই দেশে এলো তা সম্পর্কে আমার সঠিক ধারণা নাই। হয়ত স্পানিশ কলোনিস্টদের হাত ধরেই এই ফুলের আগমন ঘটেছিল এই দেশে (অথবা কেউ উত্সাহী হয়ে বিদেশ থেকে নিজেই নিয়ে এসেছিলেন)। ফুলটির একটি ইংলিশ নাম আছে, আর তাহলো Spanish cordia. সেজন্যই এমন ধারণা করে বসলাম।

Bangladesh has a lot of foreign flowers which got adopted with our climate and nature. Scarlet cordia flower is one of those lucky flowers. Though we do not see this flower in plenty in our country, but whenever it is growing, growing proudly and bringing lot of showy flowers throughout of the years.

Scarlet cordia has several common names which are Ginger tree, Spanish cordia, Rough-leaved cordia, etc. Mayan people called this plant as kopté which also included into the common names these days. In Bangladesh we call this Roktorag ful (রক্তরাগ ফুল). Not sure who would earn the credit for this naming but it is a perfect name.

Botanical name of this beautiful flowering plant is Cordia sebestena. It has a synonym that is Sebesten sebestena. It belongs to the plant family Boraginaceae. This beautiful flowering plant is native to the American region. It is quite unsure about when and how this plant got introduced in our country. Probably the Spanish can take the credit for this (because of the name Spanish cordia)?

Scarlet cordia (রক্তরাগ ফুল) is a small growing perennial plant that can tolerate the drought easily. It is a slow to medium growth rate evergreen plant having dense leafs. The leafs are oval, elliptic in shape (4-8 inches long). The color is dark green, and the leafs are rough. The bark is dark when matured, but the green barks are having white dots on it. For the rough leafs the flowering plant is also known as Rough-leaved Cordia.

Well, the flowers of Scarlet cordia (রক্তরাগ) are extremely beautiful. Flowers bloom as a small cluster. Blooming season is mainly the spring and summer, but found few flowers throughout the years. Color of the flower is scarlet, orange-scarlet, etc. Small flowers (1 inch in diameter) are tubular shaped and having 6 semi lobed petals. Flower is having 5-7 whitish stamens.

The bract of the flower is noticeably long and the red buds use to pop out from the bracts. That time they look like a lipstick as the color of the buds are scarlet. The flowers have a long durability, and even after fallen from the tree they last for another few days. Scarlet cordia (রক্তরাগ) flower has a mild sweet fragrance.

The fruits of Scarlet cordia (রক্তরাগ) are small and having a shape similar to the pear fruit. They are edible and having a sweet fragrance too. I took few of the fruits to my home but later found they are useless (also I have chewed a bit and found tasteless).

Where to find?

There are several places at Dhaka where you can find this beautiful flowering plant. One easy location can be the Tennis complex near the Shahbag (শাহবাগ). Inside the premise you'll find an array of 3-4 small trees there. GPS coordinate is [23°44'16.92"N, 90°23'54.87"E]. Romna park (রমনা পার্ক) also has a tree, and it is near the nursery GPS coordinate [23°44'25.05"N, 90°23'53.60"E].

Scarlet cordia flower (রক্তরাগ ফুল) on ground.

Rough leaf of Scarlet cordia (রক্তরাগ).

Scarlet cordia (রক্তরাগ) fruit.

Notice the lipstick like flower buds of Scarlet cordia (রক্তরাগ).

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh as listed below:
1) 14 April 2015: Tennis complex, Shahbag (টেনিস কমপ্লেক্স, শাহবাগ).
2) 29 April 2015: Romna park, Dhaka (রমনা পার্ক, ঢাকা).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

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