Shiuli flower also known as Shefali flower is a genus with two species of flowering plants native to Southeast Asia and is originally found in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Thailand, Sumatra and Java. It is the state flower of West Bengal.
They are shrubs or small trees that reach up to 10 m tall, with flaky crust. The leaves are opposite and simple. The flowers are produced in small groups of two to seven together. The fruit is a capsule with two parts, with one seed in each.
The bright orange-colored small flowers bloom at night and fall in the Autumn mornings. It's a lovely scene to see such things at the morning, specially before sunrise. In Bangladesh, this flower blooms during the autumn and keep blooming during late autumn and some part of winter.
Along with the lovely outlook, the fragrance of the flower is amazingly sweet. These characteristics just make the flower the favorite to most of the florists.
Shiuli is not just about the traditional trademark of many songs from the period, poetry and literature of Rabindranath Tagore. The flower has been testimony to the thoughts and creativity of so many other writers with full of emotional descriptions of the poets.
In earlier times, people used to extract orange color from the corolla of the flower. They used that color in food and for dyeing cloths. After failing to vie with the artificial colors, now a days that process is no longer practiced among us.
There are many benefits of the juice of Shiuli leaves like it helps to reduce fat levels if taken everyday in the morning and the afternoon. The leaf juice is very bitter and is also known to kill worms inside the body if taken with warm water twice a day in the morning and evening.
The leaf juice also helps in curing sore throat if taken during the morning and evening to get the guaranteed benefit. The leaf juice also helps in removing itches the body which can be taken at any time of day in the morning and evening. The leaf juice also helps in curing food poisoning and can be taken with a little hot water.
As a result of the evolution of urban civilization the shiuli is Disappearing. This new generation hardly knows about this amazing flower with the days long gone of girls stealing flowers from the courtyards in the early mornings to create garlands for their loved ones.