|Bengali Name :||Chapa (চাঁপা), Shorno / Swarna chapa (স্বর্ণ চাঁপা), Champa (চম্পা).|
|Common Name :||Champak, Golden Champa, Golden champak.|
|Botanical Name :||Magnolia champaca|
|Synonym :||Michelia champaca|
|Family :||Magnoliaceae (magnolia family)|
আজকের ফুলের নাম স্বর্ণ চাঁপা ফুল৷ অত্যন্ত সুগন্ধি একটা ফুল যার গন্ধ অনেক দূর থেকে পাওয়া যায়৷ বাংলাদেশে বেশ কয়েক রকমের চাঁপা ফুল দেখা যায়৷ তবে চাঁপা বললে যেই ফুলটি চোখের সামনে ভাসে, সেটি এই স্বর্ণ চাঁপা ফুল৷ চিরসবুজ গাছের বড় বড় পাতার ফাকে ছোট ছোট কমলা-হলুদ রঙের এই ফুল দেখতে খুবই সুন্দর লাগে৷ আর সেই সাথে ফুলের মিষ্টি গন্ধটা বাড়তি পাওনা৷ সমস্ত গাছ জুড়েই ফুল ফোটে থাকে, আর গাছের নিচে থাকে ঝরে পরা ফুলের পাপড়ি গুলো৷
Our today's flowering plant is Swarna champak (aka Golden champak), a plant that is native to the South Asia and Southeast Asia. This means, it is widely available in our Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ). In Bengali we call this flower as Chapa (চাঁপা), Swarna chapa (স্বর্ণ চাঁপা), Champa (চম্পা), etc. In English it has several other names which are Fragrant Champaca, Champak, etc.
The binomial name of this flowering plant is Magnolia champaca and it belongs to the plant family of magnolia flowers Magnoliaceae. This flowing plant has a botanical synonym Michelia champaca. In fact it was the binomial name previously. The name Michelia honors the renowned Italian botanist Pier Antonio Micheli.
Golden champak (স্বর্ণ চাঁপা) is a tall growing evergreen plant that can reach up to 50 meter in height but usually grows around 10 meter tall. This fast growing tree is having large slender leafs similar to the mango leafs. Those leafs are alternately arranged around the branches as a whirl and having a smooth texture. Green or dark green leafs are having a 1-2 inches long petiole, under side of leaf is paler than the upper side. Leafs are wavy at the margins.
The color of the Swarna chapa (স্বর্ণ চাঁপা) is not that much bright, which means not that much showy. But they are highly scented. That's why it always gets the attention from the people who are passing by. Large flowers are having dull golden color (orange-yellow). Flowers have around 8-20 slim petals which are curved inwards when fully bloomed. Ovaries are having a shape of cone and surrounded stamens. Blooming season is the late summer and spring here in Bangladesh. But seen blooming more of less during the other seasons too.
I have already mentioned the flowers are highly scented. This smell can be found from a long distance. One of the world's most expensive perfumes named 'Joy' is made from the fragrant of this flower. This is why this plant is also known as Joy perfume tree. It was initially a wild growing tree, but these days people use to cultivate this commercially. Also it is a good choice as a park or backyard tree.
Though this is a flowering plant, but still it owns few medicinal uses (such as use to soothe the arthritis). Also the timber of this plant has a high demand for making the furniture. The fruits of this plant is a source of food for the birds.
Our busy city Dhaka has lot of Swarna chapa (স্বর্ণ চাঁপা) trees around. Most of the parks are having this tree at Dhaka. Also the Botanical garden (বোটানিক্যাল গার্ডেন), Dhaka university (ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়), Romna park (রমনা পার্ক), etc area own this tree on their premise. The street kids use to sell this flower at the busy traffic of Shahbag (শাহবাগ মোড়). If you do not find the tree anywhere then ask those kids where they have found theirs!
Photos of this article were taken from the Ramna park, Dhaka of Bangladesh (রমনা পার্ক, ঢাকা, বাংলাদেশ). It was during end of April and early of May 2015 when I have taken the photos.
This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/