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Garden Flowers

Garden Flowers flowering plants, ie trees, shrubs, climbers and seasonal herbs cultivated in home-grounds and in the public parks. Bangladesh is endowed with fertile soil and favourable climate for growth of a rich vegetation. Besides, Himalayan, Burma-Malayan and East Indian flora have merged here and have enriched the land with numerous species and varieties of plants. Thus people living here through ages had developed special love for nature which is reflected in their ancient and mediaeval literature, folklore and folksongs. During Hindu and Buddhist rule, there must have been gardens to supply flowers for religious rituals and to beautify the palaces and temples. But it was the great Mughals who built organised and well-designed gardens in India and introduced a good number of new flowers (rose, lilies etc) to this country.

Many of the present garden plants of Bangladesh are of foreign origin. These were brought earlier by traders, travellers and kings and later by colonial rulers. Besides the species of Indian and of Burmese origin, a good number had reached here from China, Japan, Africa and tropical America. The garden plants may be classified for convenience as trees, shrubs, climbers, bulbous or rhizomatous and seasonal herbs.

Trees Flowering trees are usually planted in parks, big gardens, campuses of government establishments and educational institutions. They are attractive for beautiful foliage, bright blossoms or sweet fragrance. Such common trees are: Albizia lebbek (Siris, Parrot tree), Alstonia scholaris (Chatim, Devit's tree), Anthocaphalus chinensis (Kadam, Kadamba), Bauhinia purpurea (Debkanchan, Mountain ebony), B. variegata (Raktakanchan, Purple orchid tree), Bombax ceiba (Simul, Red silk-cotton tree), Butea monosperma (Palash, Flame of the forest), Callistemon citrinus (Bottle derush), Cassia fistula (Soondal, Karnikar, Indian laburnum), C. javanica (Pink cassia), C. siamea (Minjiri, Kassod tree), Couroupita guianensis (Nagalingam, Cannonball tree), Crataeva nurvala (Barum, Caper tree) Delonix regia (Krishnachura, Peacock flower), Gliricidia sepium (Madre D'caeae), Holarrhena antidysenterica (Kurci, Easter flower), Lagerstroemia speciosa (Jarul, Pride of India, Queen of flowers), L. threllii (Bilati Jarul), Magnolia grandifloara (Himchanpa, Laural magnolia), Mesua nagassarium (Nageswar, Ironwood tree) Michelia champaca (Swarnachampa, Golden champa), Mimusops elengi (Bakul, Indian medlar), Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (Shephali, Coral jasmine), Peltophorum pterocarpum (Rusty shiud bearer), Plumeria spp. (Kathgolop, Frangipani), Saraca asoca (Ashak), and Thevetia peruviana (Kalke, Yellow oleander).

Some flowering plants grown in parks and gardens

Courtesy for plate: Shekhar Roy

The following trees, though rare, are also found in gardens: Amherstia nobilis (Tree of Heaven), Brownea coccinea (Scarlet flame bean), Calophybllum inophyllum (Punnag, Sutanchanmpa, Aleksandrian laurel), Cordia sebenstena (Scarlet cordia), Gustavia augusta (Stink wood), Ixora parviflora (palak jui, Torch tree), Jacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda), Milletia peguensis (Jewels on a string), Millingtonia hortensis (Akashnim, Himjhuri, Indian cork tree), Ochna squarrosa (Ramdhan champa), Spathodea companulata (Rudrapalash, African tulip tree), and Thespesia populnea (Parashpipul, Portia tree).

Shrubs These are much branched, evergreen, woody perennials extensively planted in all gardens, small and big. The common flowering garden shrubs are: Acalypha hispida (Shibjhul, Cat's tail), Allamanda nerifolia, Barleria cristata (Jhinti, Philipine violet), B. prionitis (Swarna jhinti), Bauhinia acuminata (Kanchan, Orchid tree), Caesalpina pulcherrima (Radhachura), Cestrum nocturnum (Hasnahena, Queen of the night), Datura fastuosa (Dutra, Thorn apple), Euphorbia pulcherrima (Lalpata, Poinsettia, Christmas flower), Gardenia jasminoides (Gandharaj, Cape Jasmine), Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Jaba, Chinarose) H. mutabilis (Sthalpadma, Changeable rose), Ixora coccinea, I. lutea, I. rosea, I. singapurensis (Rangan), Jasminum pubescens (Kunda), J. sambae (Beli, Arabian jasmine), Lagerstroemia indica (Phurush, Crape myrtle), Lantana camara, Malvaviscus arboreus (Lankajaba), Mirabilis jalapa (Sandhyamalati, Marvel of peru), Murrya exotica (Kamini, Chinese box), Mussaenda frondosa, M. erythrophylla, M. luteola (Mussaenda, Nagballi), Nerium oleander (Raktakarabi, Oleander), Rosa species (Golap), Tabernaemontana coroneria (Tagor, Cape jasmine), and Vinca rosea (Nayantara, Periwinkle).

Following are the uncommon but attractive flowering shrubs and are rather rare in Bangladesh gardens: Allamanda violacea, A, shottie (Allamanda, Harkakra, Ghantaphul), Brunfelsia calycina (Yesterday-today-tomorrow), Codiaeum variegatum (Patabahar, Croton), Calliandra brevipes, C. haematocephala, Datura suaveoleus (Rajghanta, Angel's trumpet), Dombya mastersii, Hibiscus schizopetalous (Jhumkajaba, Coral hibiscus), H. syriacus (Niljaba, Rose of sharon), Jasminum humile (Swarna chameli, Yellow jasmine), Jatropha panduraefolia, Magnolia pumila, Melastoma malabathricum (Datranga, Indian rhododendron), Memecylon umbellata (Anjan, Red iron wood), Plumbago auriculata (Chita, cape leadwort), Rondeletia odorata, Russelia juncca (Coral plant), Tecoma gaudichaudi, T. stans (Sonapati, Yellow bell), and Thunbergia erecta (Nilghanta).

Climbers mostly perennials with weak stem, climb on some support either by twining itself or with the help of appendages like tendrils, spines, hooks etc. Climbers don't occupy much space on the ground, hence can be accommodated in small area. They are used in decorating buildings, gates, walls and fencenings. Most of the climbers produce either colourful blossoms or fragrant flowers. Climbing roses are famous for their beauty. The common climbers of our gardens are: Aganosma dichotoma (Malalilata), Allamanda cathartica, Antigonon leptopus (Anantalata), Artabotrys odoratissimus (Kanthalichanpa, Climbing ylangylang), Bougainvillea glabra, B. peruviana, B. spectabitis (Baganbilas), Campsis grandiflora (Trumpet climber), Clerodendrum thomsonae (Bleeding heart), Clitoria ternatea (Aparajita, Mussel-shell climber), Gloriosa superba (Ulatchandal, Glory lily), Gmelina hystrix (Bhadra), Hiptage benghalensis (Madhabilata), Ipomea abla (Chandramukhi, Dudhialata, Moon flower), I. palmata (Railway creeper), I. Indica (Morning glory), Jasminum auriculatum (Jui), J. grandiflorum (chamali, spanish jasmine), J. offiinale (Jui, White jasmine), Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle), Passiflora caerulea (Jhumkalata, Passion flower), Petrea volubilis (Nilmanilata, Purple wreath), Psendocalyma alliaceum (Lata parul, Garlic vine), Pyrostegia venusta (Golden shower), Quamoclit pinnata (Kunjalata, Taralata, Cypress vine), Quisqualis indica (Madhumanjari, Madhumalati, Rangoon creeper), etc.

Bulbous/Rhizomalous annuals or perennials, usually die in winter and again reappear in spring or summer. Many of them produce attractive flowers, some are fragrant too. Such plants commonly grown in gardens are: Amaryllis belladona (Belladona lily), Belamcanda chinensis (Leopard flower), Canna indica (Kalabali), Crinum bulbispernum (Sukhadarsan, Cape lily), Eucharis amazonica (Eucharis lily), Gladiolus spp., Haemanthus multiflorus (Fireball lily, Football lily), Hedyechium coronerium (Dolanchanmpa), Hymenocallis littoralis (Spider lily), Kaempferia ratunda (Bhunichampa), Polianthes tuberosa (Rajanigandha, Tuberose), and Zephyranthes spp. (Ghasphul, Flower of the west wind, Zephyr lily).

Seasonal herbs known as season flowers, mostly exotic, commonly cultivated in winter. A few grow in all seasons including summer. They are specially loved for their bright blossoms in our dull winter landscape. The common season flowers are: Ageratum maxicana (Floss flower), Althaea rosea (Hollyhock), Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon), Calendula officinalis (Pot marigold), Callistephus chinensis (Aster), Celosia argentea (Cockscomb), Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower), C. moschata (Sweet sultan), Chrysanthemum spp., (Candramallika) Coreopsis drummondii (Calliopsis), Cosmos bipinatus (Cosmos), C. sulphureus (Summer cosmos), Dahlia variabilis (Dahlia), Dalphinium ajacis (Larkspur), Dianthus barbatus (Sweet willian), D. caryophyllus (Carnation), D. chirnesis (Indian pink), Gaillardia pulchella (Blanket flower), Helianthus annuus (Suryamukhi, Sunflower), Gomphrena globosa (Butam phul, Globe amaranta), Helichrysum bracteatum (Strawflower), Impatiens balsamina (Dopati, Balsam), Ipomea rubrocaerulea (Marning glory), Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet pea), Lobelia erinus (Lobelia), Lupinus spp. (Lupin), Papaver rhoeas (Corn popy), Petunia hybrida (Petunia), Phlox drummondii (Phlox), Portulaca grandiflora (Rose moss), Salvia coccinea (Sage), Tagetes erecta (African marigold), T. patula (French marigold), Tropaeolum majas (Nasturtium), Verbena hybrida (Verbena), Viola tricolor hortensis (Pansy, Viola), and Zinnia elegans (Zinnia). [Dwijen Sarma]