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Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

Open Access

Research Article

Forest Research

Open Access

Dutta et al., Forest Res 2015, 4:1

http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2168-9776.1000136

Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda 

Botanical Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Shourav Dutta*, Hossain MK, Akhter Hossain M and Pinaki Chowdhury

Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh

*Corresponding author: Shourav Dutta, Institute of Forestry and Environmental 

Sciences, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh; Tel: 031-716552; E-mail: 

Shourav.forestry@gmail.com

Received  November 13, 2014;  Accepted  December 16, 2014;  Published 

December 23, 2014



Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants 

and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-

Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136



Copyright: © 2015 Dutta S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under 

the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted 

use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and 

source are credited.



Abstract

The study was carried out to assess the occurrence, invasion and usage of exotic plant species in the natural 

ecosystem of Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park, Chittagong, Bangladesh through transect and random 

sampling and Focused Group Discussion (FGD) during August 2013 to April 2014. A total of 103 exotic plant species 

(99 species of angiosperms and 4 gymnosperms) belonging to 90 genera and 43 families were recorded through 

transect method from the study area. Among the exotics, tree species constitute the major category (46 species, 

21 families) followed by shrubs (33 species, 18 families), herbs (21 species, 17 families) and climbers (3 species, 3 

families). Mimosaceae family was represented by maximum (9) exotic plant species followed by Caesalpiniaceae (8), 

Myrtaceae (8) and Malvaceae (7). Most of the exotic plants were introduced in the eco-park after its establishment. 

Exotic tree species are given priority as the dominant plantation species in the eco-park area because of their short 

rotation, wider adaptability and faster growth. A total of 74 tree species (52 native and 22 exotic) belonging to 33 

families were recorded through random sampling method in the eco-park. Number of both exotic and native tree 

species in hill top, mid hill and hill bottom varied simultaneously. Density of exotic trees were found maximum (366.6/

ha) in the hill bottom. Holarrhena antidysenterica (14.77) and Stereospermum colais (14.53) were the two native 

tree species that showed maximum Importance Value Index (IVI). Besides, two exotics that showed maximum IVI 

were Xylia xylocarpa (10.05) and Psidium guajava (9.15). The enumerated exotic plant species were categorized 

under six different traditional use categories according to their habit form (tree, shrub, herb and climber). The study 

revealed 39 exotic species used for timber purpose indicates their prominent economic potentiality. Moreover, local 

communities extracting exotic plants for meeting their needs of fuel, housing implements, livelihoods etc. Control of 

the exotics in future plantation programs need to be considered and available native plants should give priority to 

ensure ex-situ conservation of the Botanical Garden and Eco-park.

Keywords

Exotic plants; Eco-park; Botanical garden

Introduction

Bangladesh, located in the north eastern part of South Asia with a 

geographical coverage of 14.76 m ha is exceptionally endowed with a 

huge variety of flora and fauna due to its unique geophysical location, 

and possesses a rich biological heritage of flowering plants, mammals, 

birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes [1-3]. But, loss of biodiversity 

was significant in the natural forests of Bangladesh during the past four 

decades due to population pressure, over extraction, anthropogenic 

disturbances, unscientific management and lack of conservation 

initiatives [4]. One of the major management objectives of hill forests 

of Bangladesh was to replace the heterogeneous natural forests by the 

plantations of valuable timber species. To meet the acute shortage of 

timber and fuel wood in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Forest Department 

introduced fast growing tree species as priority basis. Some exotic 

tree species were widely planted in the natural ecosystems replacing 

the native vegetation; as a result the exotic tree species became 

dominant in the plantation forests and homesteads [5]. Like many 

other countries, Bangladesh has a long history of plant introduction 

from different countries or geographic regions of the world and most 

of the plants have brought by settlers, invaders, seamen and traders 

[6]. Teak (Tectona grandis) was first introduced by the British in hill 

forests of present Bangladesh in 1871 [5]. A number of exotic plant 

species were first introduced in garden as ornamental plants that later 

on aggressively established elsewhere [7].

Sitakunda Eco-park, the first Eco-park in Bangladesh, was 

established at Chandranath hills and its surrounding areas of Sitakunda 

upazilla of Chittagong district in 2000 in order to preserve and develop 

the gene pool of various indigenous and exotic plant species through 

intensive management [8,9]. Bangladesh Forest Department manages 

this eco-park. Plantations of short rotation species, mainly of Eucalyptus 

spp. and Acacia auriculiformis, were raised in the Botanical Garden 

till 1999. The Botanical Garden and Eco-Park area was the remnant 

of tropical semi-evergreen forests rich with floral composition, e.g. 

Rahman and Uddin [10] recorded 203 species belonging to 154 genera 

and 54 families from the entire Sitakunda Reserve Forest. Alam [8] 

recorded 55 shrubs and 62 herbs on the hills of Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-park area. But, no inventory on focusing exotic plant 

species of the eco-park and their role in surrounding localities has so far 

been found, though the invasion of exotics is becoming a concern for 

the park. To prepare baseline information on exotic plant species and 

to help development of planning and managerial activities of the Eco-

park, it is necessary to assess exotic plant species of the eco-park area. 

In the present study, an attempt has been made to assess the occurrence 

of exotic plants along with their influence in the natural ecosystem and 

surrounding localities of the Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-

park. Categorizing the recorded exotic plants based on their habit form 

and use was another aim of the study. 


Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136

Page 2 of 9

Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

Material and Methods 

Study site

Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park lies between 22°36´ 

- 22°39´N latitude and 91°40´ - 91°42´E longitude. It is situated at 

the north-western part of Chittagong district which comprises of the 

Chandranath Reserve Forest under the jurisdiction of Chittagong 

North Forest Division. It is about 35 km north from Chittagong city, 

3 km far away from Sitakunda Upazilla head quarter and about one 

kilometer east from the Dhaka – Chittagong highway [8]. The park 

area is under the Southern Sitakunda Reserved Forest of Chittagong 

North Forest Division, Bangladesh. It was established in 2000 under 

Bangladesh Wildlife Preservation (Amendment) Act 1974. Before 

establishment the eco-park area was under Chandranath block of 

Sitakunda Beat under Bariadhala Range of Chittagong North Forest 

Division [8,11].

The Botanical Garden and Eco-park of Sitakunda comprises an 

area of about 808.38 ha, of which the Botanical Garden covers an area 

of 405 ha and rest of the 403.38 ha area is under the eco-park [8]. The 

park area is composed of a good number of low, medium and high 

hills, numerous gullies, a few waterfalls and many streams originated 

from the hills and these hills are mainly the part of Garo Hill Range 

[8,11]. The original forest was semi evergreen with high floral diversity 

including various evergreen and deciduous species. The landscape has 

a broken topography comprising of very steep hills and valleys [12]. 

The park area lies under the tropical climatic zone and enjoys moist 

tropical climate of 29.6°C mean annual temperature, 287.2 cm average 

annual rainfall, and 66.5% - 88.6% mean monthly humidity [8,11,12]. 



Methods

Exotic plant species in Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park 

were studied by transect method during August 2013 to April 2014. 

Transect walks were made along the foot trails that passed across the 

whole study area. All the exotic plant species (herbs, shrubs, trees and 

climbers) were recorded and tagged in the field. Fertile plant parts of 

the unknown tree species were collected to prepare herbarium in order 

to facilitate their identification. The herbaria were identified consulting 

different flora [13-16].

A total of 36 sample plots of 10 m × 10 m in size were selected in 

the whole study area by random sampling method. Among 36 sample 

plots, the hill top, mid hill and the valley were represented by 12 plots 

each. Quadrats were distributed to each of the four aspects (southern, 

northern, eastern and western) evenly at the hill top, mid hill and valley 

of hill. All the plots were well demarcated by marking their corners 

with pegs and then all the trees (native and exotic) in each plot were 

identified and recorded. Individuals of each tree species having dbh of 

≥5 cm at breast height (1.3 m) were counted and recorded.

Identified plant samples were arranged taxonomically and 

categorized according to their habit form. The relative density, relative 

frequency, relative dominance and Importance Value Index (IVI) were 

calculated following the methods of Shukla and Chandal [17].

Total no.of individuals of a species in all the quadrats

Density of a species=

Total no.  of quadrats studied

Total no.  of individuals of the species

Relative density=

×100


Total no.  of individuals of all the species

Total no.  of individuals of quadrats in which the species occurs

Frequency of a species=

Total no.  of quadrats studied

Frequency of one species

Relative frequency=

×100

Total frequency



Basal area of one species

Relative dominance =

×100

Total basal



IVI = Relative density + Relative frequency + Relative dominance

Information about the traditional uses and influence of the 

recorded exotics were gathered through Focused Group Discussion 

(FGD) involving local communities living around the surrounding 

areas of the botanical garden. Consultation was also made with the 

Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh [14,16] to better 

assess the use of the recorded plants. Along with the timber producing 

exotic plants, many medicinal, fuel wood, fiber yielding, ornamental 

and shade bearing exotic plant species were recorded from the eco-

park and thus, categorized into six categories (timber, food or fodder, 

medicine, ornamental, fuel wood and miscellaneous).

Results

Exotic species composition and their habit form

The present study recorded a total of 103 exotic plant species 

belonging to 90 genera and 43 families from Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-park, Chittagong. All the exotic plant species were 

categorized based on habit form and classified under genus and family 

(Table 1). The species botanical name, family, local name, habit form 

and their uses are provided in Table 2.

Among the 103 exotic plant species, trees constitute the major 

category (46 species) and occupying 45% of all the recorded exotic 

species followed by shrubs (32%), herbs (20%) and climbers (3%). The 

abundance of species belonging to various families shows variation, 

where, 49% species are represented by 8 dominant families and rest 

of the 51% species by 35 families (Figure 1).  Among the dominant 

families, Mimosaceae contains maximum number of species (9 

species) followed by Caesalpiniaceae (8 species), Myrtaceae (8 species), 

Malvaceae (7 species), Apocynaceae (5 species), Fabaceae (5 species), 

Annonaceae (4 species) and Euphorbiaceae (4 species).

The study recorded 46 exotic tree species under 40 genera and 

21 families from Sitakunda Botanical garden and Eco-park, where 

Mimosaceae was represented by maximum 8 tree species followed 

by Myrtaceae (6 species) and Caesalpiniaceae (5 species). Acacia 

auriculiformis (Akashmoni), Acacia mangium (Mangium), Eucalyptus 

camaldulensis (Eucalypts), Melaleuca leucodendron (Melaleuca) and 

Tectona grandis (Shegun) were very common since they were used 

as major plantation tree species in Sitakunda eco-park. These exotic 

tree species are gradually replacing native tree species of the park 

area because of their wider adaptability, faster growth rate and easy 

Sl. No. Plant Category Species no. Genus no. Family no. Species %

01.


Tree

46

40



21

45

02.



Shrub

33

27



18

32

03.



Herb

21

20



17

20

04.



Climber

3

3



3

3

Table 1: Exotic plant species recorded from Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-

park.


Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136

Page 3 of 9

Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

Scientific name

Family

Local name

Habit

Uses

Acacia auriculiformis A. Cunn. ex. Benth

Mimosaceae

Akashmoni

t*

F, N, T**



Acacia catechu (L. f.) Willd

Mimosaceae

Khair

t

F, N, T



Acacia mangium Willd

Mimosaceae

Mangium

t

F, N, T



Achras zapota L.

Sapotaceae

Sofeda

t

F, M, N



Albizia richardiana  King & Prain

Mimosaceae

Raj Koroi

t

F, N, T



Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f.

Liliaceae

Greeta kumari

h

Fd, M



Alstonia macrophylla G. Don

Apocynaceae

Sri Lankan Chatian

t

F, N, T



Amorphophallus campanulatus (Roxb.) Bl. ex Dane.

Araceae


Ol kochu

h

Fd, N



Anacardium occidentale  L.

Anacardiaceae

Kaju Badam

t

Fd, N, T



Annona reticulata L.

Annonaceae

Atah

s

Fd, M, N



Annona squamosa L.

Annonaceae

Sarifa

s

Fd, M, N



Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn.

Polygonaceae

Ananta lata

c

N



Araucaria columnaris (Frost. F.) Hook. 

Araucariaceae

X-mass tree

t

N



Artabotrys odoratissimus R. Br.

Annonaceae

Katali champa

h

O



Averrhoa bilimbi L.

Oxalidaceae

Bilambi

s

F, Fd, M, N



Averrhoa carambola L.

Oxalidaceae

Kamranga

s

Fd, M



Bauhinia malabarica Roxb.

Caesalpiniaceae

Kanchan

s

N, O



Bombax ceiba L.

Bombacaceae

Simul tula

t

N, T



Borassus flabellifer L. 

Arecaceae

Tal

t

Fd, M, N, T



Bougainvillea spectabilis willd.

Nyctaginaceae

Bagan bilash

s

N, O



Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam.) Oken.

Crassulaceae

Pathar kuchi

h

M



Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw.

Caesalpiniaceae

Radha chura

t

F, N, O



Callistemon citrinus (Curtis) Skeel.

Myrtaceae

Bottle brush

s

N, O



Callistemon linearis DC.

Myrtaceae

Bottle brush

s

N, O



Carica papaya L.

Caricaceae

Pepye

h

Fd, N



Carissa grandiflora A. DC.

Apocynaceae

Karamcha

s

F, Fd, M , N



Cassia alata L.

Caesalpiniaceae

Dad mardon

s

M



Cassia occidentalis L.

Caesalpiniaceae

Kasundi

s

M



Cassia siamea Lam.

Caesalpiniaceae

Minjiri

t

F, N, T



Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don

Apocynaceae

Nayan tara

h

O



Ceiba pantandra (L.) Gaertn.

Bombacaceae

Pahari tula

t

T



Cestrum nocturnum L.

Solanaceae

Hasnahena

s

O



Chromolaena odorata (L.) ex. King & H.E. Robins.

Asteraceae

Assam gach 

h

M, N



Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Prest

Lauraceae

Korpur

t

T



Citrus maxima (Burm. f.) Merr.

Rutaceae


Jambura

s

F, Fd, M



Clitoria ternatea L.

Fabaceae


Aparajita

h

O



Cocos nucifera L.

Arecaceae

Narikel, Coconut

t

Fd, M, N



Codiaeum variegatum Bl.

Euphorbiaceae

Pata bahar

s

O



Colocassia esculenta (L.) Schott.

Araceae


Kochu, Taro

h

Fd, N



Coriandrum sativum L.

Apiaceae


Dhone

h

M



Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.

Fabaceae


Sissoo

t

Fd, N



Delonix regia (Boj. ex Hook.) Rafin

Caesalpiniaceae

Krishna chura

t

N



Diospyros discolor Willd.

Ebenaceae

Bilati gab

t

Fd, M, T



Duranta repens L.

Verbenaceae

Kata mehedi

s

M, N



Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn.

Myrtaceae

Eucalyptus

t

F, N, T



Eucalyptus citriodora Hook. f.

Myrtaceae

Scented Eucalyptus

t

F, N, T



Gardenia angusta (L.) Merr.

Rubiaceae

Gandha  Raj

s

O



Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth. ex walp

Fabaceae


Gliricidia

t

O, N, T



Glycyrrhiza glabra L.

Fabaceae


Jashti madhu

h

M, N



Gossypium herbaceum L.

Malvaceae

Tula

s

Fd, N



Heliotropium indicum L.

Boraginaceae

Hati sur, Bhurundi

h

M



Hevea brasiliensis Muell.-Arg.

Euphorbiaceae

Rubber 

t

N, T



Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.

Malvaceae

Jaba, China rose

s

O, M, N



Hibiscus sabdariffa L.

Malvaceae

Tok pata, Rosella

h

M, N



Hibiscus schizopetalus (Mast.) Hook. f.

Malvaceae

Jobagach

s

O, M, N



Ipomoea carnea Jacq.

Convolvulaceae

Dholkolmi

h

F, N



Ixora chinensis Roxb.

Rubiaceae

Rongon

s

O



Jatropha gossypifolia L.

Euphorbiaceae

Lal Bherendha

s

M



Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.

Lythraceae

Jarul

t

F, N, T



Lantana camara L.

Verbenaceae

Naghful

s

M, N



Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136

Page 4 of 9

Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

propagation. The other common trees of the study area were Hevea 

brasiliensis (Rubber), Melia azedarach (Ghora neem), Samanea saman 

(Raintree), Syzygium jambos (Golap-jam) etc.

A total of 33 exotic shrub species belonging to 27 genera and 18 

families were recorded from Sitakunda Eco-park. Maximum shrub 

species were represented by Malvaceae family (5 species) followed by 

Apocynaceae (3 species) and Caesalpiniaceae (3 species). The exotic 

shrub species that commonly occurred in Sitakunda eco-park were 

Annona squamosa,Cassia alata,  Gardenia angusta,  Hibiscus rosa-

sinensis, Lawsonia inermis, Ravenala madagascariensis, Thuja orientalis 

etc. Lantana camara and Duranta repens were the two exotic shrubby 

species that commonly occurred in the natural ecosystems of Sitakunda 

Eco-park. Lantana camara was observed to grow aggressively in the 

natural forests along with plantations in the study area.

The study recorded 21 exotic herb species belonging to 20 genera 

and 17 families in Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park. Among 

the 17 families, Araceae, Cactaceae, Fabaceae and Malvaceae were 

represented by 2 herb species each and the remaining 12 families 

had only one species each. Opuntia dillenii and Opuntia monacantha 

belonging to Cactaceae family were recorded as planted cactus that 

grown at cactus house in the eco-park. Mimosa pudica (Lajjabati), 

Chromolaena odorata (Assamgach) and Heliotropium indicum 

(Hatisur) are the herbs that were growing aggressively in the eco-park 

area. Ipomoea carnea (Dholkolmi) is found to grow along the streams 

and water bodies with other natural vegetation in the study area. The 

study area revealed 3 exotic climber species belonging to 3 families. 

Among the climbers, Mikania cordata was found to grow aggressively 

on the shrubs and trees in the park area. Among all the exotic plant 

Lawsonia inermis L.

Lythraceae

Mehedi

s

M, N



Leucaena  leucocephala (Lamk.) de Wit

Mimosaceae

Ipil-ipil

t

F, N, T



Litchi chinensis (Gaertn.) Sonn.

Sapindaceae

Litchu

t

Fd, F, N, T,O



Madhuca indica Gmel. 

Sapotaceae

Mahua

t

 N, T, O



Malachra capitata L.

Malvaceae

Bon Vendhi

s

M



Malvastrum coromondelianum L.

Malvaceae

Bon tara

h

Fd



Malvaviscus sylvestris (L.)

Malvaceae

Morich ful

s

O,N



Melaleuca leucodendron (L.) L.

Myrtaceae

Melaleuca

t

N, T



Melia azedarach L.

Meliaceae

Gora neem, Bokhain

t

Fd, M, T



Mikania cordata (Burm.f.) Robinson

Asteraceae

Germani lata, Tufani lota

c

Fd, M



Mimosa pudica L.

Mimosaceae

Lajja bati

h

M



Mimosops elengi L.

Sapotaceae

Bakul

t

T, O



Mussaenda erythrophylla Vahl

Rubiaceae 

Musanda

s

O



Nymphaea capensis Thunb.

Nymphaeaceae

Shapla

h

O



Opuntia dillenii (ker-Gawler) Haw.

Cactaceae

Phoni-monosha

h

O



Opuntia monacantha Haw.

Cactaceae

Phoni-monosha

h

O



Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) Nielsen 

Mimosaceae

Moluccana koroi

t

N,T



Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC) Backer ex. Heyne 

Caesalpiniaceae

Yellow gold mohur

t

O, T



Pilea microphylla Liebm.

Urticaceae

Mariccha lata

c

Nk



Pinus caribaea Morelet var. hondurensis Barr & Golf.

Pinaceae


Pine

t

T



Pinus oocarpa Schiede

Pinaceae


Pine

t

T



Plumeria acuminata Ait.

Apocynaceae

Kathali chapa

s

O



Plumeria obtusa Ait.

Apocynaceae

Shorna chapa

s

O



Polyalthia longifolia Thw. 

Annonaceae

Debdaru

t

N, T



Psidium guajava L.

Myrtaceae

Peyara

t

F, Fd, M, N



Punica granatum L.

Punicaceae

Dalim

s

F, Fd, M, N



Ravenala madagascariensis Gmel.

Musaceae


Pantha padav

s

O



Ricinus communis L.

Euphorbiaceae

Veranda

h

M, N



Ruellia tuberosa L.

Acanthaceae

Chatpotey

h

N



Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merrill.

Mimosaceae

Ful koroi, Rain tree

t

F, N, T



Santalum album L.

Santalaceae

Sheto chandan

t

M, T



Sesbania grandiflora Pers

Fabaceae


Bokphul

s

O, Fd



Spondias cytherea Sonn. 

Anacardiaceae

Bilati amra

t

Fd, M, N, T



Swietenia macrophylla King

Meliaceae

Bara mehogoni

t

T



Swietenia mahagoni (L.) Jacq.

Meliaceae

True Mahagoni

t

T



Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston

Myrtaceae

Jam

t

Fd, F, M, N, T



Syzygium samarengense (Bl.) Merr. & perry

Myrtaceae

Jamrul

t

Fd, M, N



Tamarindus indica L.

Caesalpiniaceae

Tentul

t

Fd, F, M,  T



Tectona grandis L. f.

Verbanaceae

Segun, Teak

t

T



Terminalia catappa L.

Combretaceae

Kat badam

t

Fd, M, N



Thuja orientalis L.

Cupressaceae

Thuja

s

O



Thunbergia erecta Roxb.

Acanthaceae

Nilkantha

s

O



Xylia xylocarpa (Roxb.) Taub.

Mimosaceae

Lohakath, Pyankado

t

T



Table 2: Exotic plant species with their habit form (*c = climber, h = herb, s = shrub and t = tree) and uses recorded from Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-

park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. [**F= Fuelwood, Fd = Food and Fodder, M = Medicinal, N= Miscellaneous non-timber uses (Other than fuel, fodder and medicinal), O = 

Ornamental, T = Timber, Nk = Not known].


Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136

Page 5 of 9

Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

species, Araucaria columnaris, Pinus caribaea, Pinus oocarpa and Thuja 

orientalis were the four gymnosperms recorded from the plantations of 

the botanical garden. 



Comparison between the native and exotic tree species 

recorded from the eco-park

The comparative study was done with the plant population data 

obtained from the sample plots. A total of 74 various tree species 

belonging to 28 families were recorded from 36 sample plots (10 m × 10 

m), where 52 tree species were native and 22 exotic. Maximum number 

of species were recorded from the valley (42 native and 17 exotic 

species) followed by mid hill (38 native and 12 exotic species), and hill 

top (30 native and 15 exotic species). Highest number of species (30 

native and 20 exotic species) was recorded in the southern aspects of 

the hills followed by eastern (22 native and 19 exotic species), western 

(24 native and 16 exotic species) and northern (28 native and 11 exotic 

species) aspects. In the study area, maximum number of exotic trees 

(366.6/ha) were calculated in the valley and lowest number of trees 

(283.3/ha) were recorded in the top hill. A total number of exotic tree 

species (288.8/ha) in the southern aspects is found higher than those of 

other aspects (Table 3).

Among the native species, the relative density was found highest 

for Holarrhena antidysenterica (7.21) followed by Oroxylum indicum 

(6.68) and Stereospermum colais (5.98). Maximum relative frequency 

was calculated for Stereospermum colais (7.53) followed by Oroxylum 

indicum  (6.33), Holarrhena antidysenterica (6.02) and Ficus hispida 

(4.22). Maximum relative dominance was calculated for Barringtonia 

acutangula (3.25) followed by Syzygium cumini (3.00) and Mesua ferrae 

(3.00).


Among the exotic species, maximum relative density was calculated 

for  Xylia xylocarpa (4.75) followed by Psidium guajava (4.39) and 

Lagerstroemia speciosa (2.28). The relative frequency was highest for 

Xylia xylocarpa (3.61) followed by Lagerstroemia speciosa (2.71) and 

Litchi chinensis (2.71). Maximum relative dominance was calculated 

for Polyalthia longifolia (4.50) followed by Leucaena leucocephala 

(2.63) (Table 4).

The highest Importance Value Index (IVI) was calculated for 

native species, e.g. Holarrhena antidysenterica (14.77) followed by 

Stereospermum colais (14.53) and Oroxylum indicum (14.37). On the 

other hand, among the exotics 2 species showed maximum IVI were 

Xylia xylocarpa (10.05) and Psidium guajava (9.15) in the Sitakunda 

Botanical Garden and Eco-park.

Plant use

Timber, food or fodder, medicine, ornamental, fuelwood were the 

major use categories considered for categorizing the recorded exotic 

plants. Plants used for pulp and paper, shade, green manure and latex 

were grouped under miscellaneous category. A total of 38 exotic plant 

species having medicinal value were recorded from the Botanical 

Garden, where 12 species (31%) were trees, 16 (42%) were shrubs, 9 

(24%) were herbs and only 1 was climber (Figure 2).

The study also revealed 39 timber yielding exotic trees in Sitakunda 

Botanical Garden and Eco-park. In addition, 29 exotic plant species 

(13 tree, 9 shrub, 6 herb and 1 climber species) were found to yield 

food or fodder (Table 5). Miscellaneous category constituted the major 

category among all kinds of uses. A total of 58 exotic plant species under 

miscellaneous category were recorded, where trees were represented by 

maximum 32 species. Exotic plant species used for ornamental purpose 

were 29, where trees, shrubs and herbs were represented by 5, 18 and 6 

species respectively. A total of 22 exotic species used as fuel wood were 

recorded from the study area (trees 17, shrubs 4 and herbs 1).



Harmful exotic plants in Sitakunda botanical garden and eco-

park

Exotic species have been reported problem for high conservation 

value areas due to their detrimental effects that can potentially threaten 

the persistence of native flora and fauna [18,19]. The harmful impacts 

of alien invasive species are immense and usually irreversible [7]. Some 

of the exotic plants have luxuriant growth and suppressed the growth 

of other native species. Some of them are so well established that they 

are now the dominant species in the park area and became noxious 

weeds of natural forests, plantations and waste lands e.g. Chromaelina 

odorata, Duranta repens, Heliotropium indicum, Ipomoea carnea, 

Lantana camara, Mimosa pudica etc. 

Impacts of exotic plant species on local community around 

the eco-park area

Exotic plant species have substantial influence on local 



Figure 1: Abundance of exotic plant species belonging to eight dominant 

families.



4% 5%

8%

4%

5%

7%

8%

8%

51%

Annonaceae

Apocynaceae

Caesalpiniaceae

Euphorbiaceae

Fabaceae

Malvaceae

Mimosaceae

Myrtaceae

others

Category

No. of tree species

No. of individual trees

Stem/ha

Native


Exotic

Total


Native

Exotic


Total

Native 


Exotic

Total


Slope position

Top hill


30

15

45



58

34

92



483.3

283.3


766.6

Mid hill


38

12

50



63

35

98



525

291.6


816.6

Valley


42

17

59



78

44

122



650

366.6


1016.6

Aspect

North


28

11

39



45

23

68



500

255.5


755.5

South


30

20

50



67

26

93



744.4

288.8


1033.3

East


22

19

41



53

25

78



588.8

277.7


866.6

West


24

16

40



49

24

73



544.4

266.6


811

Table 3: Number of trees (native and exotic), families and stem per hectare in different slopes and aspects in the eco-park.

Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136

Page 6 of 9

Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

Scientific name

Family

Status

RD (%)

RF (%)

RDo (%)

IVI

Acacia auriculiformis 

Mimosaceae

E*

0.53


0.30

2.25


3.08

Acacia mangium 

Mimosaceae

E

0.35


0.30

1.50


2.15

Achras zapota 

Sapotaceae

E

1.23


1.51

1.05


3.79

Adina cordifolia

Rubiaceae

N

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Aegle marmelos 

Rutaceae


N

0.88


0.90

1.25


3.03

Albizia richardiana  

Mimosaceae

E

1.58


2.11

0.97


4.66

Anacardium occidentale  

Anacardiaceae

E

0.53


0.30

2.25


3.08

Anisoptera scaphula

Dipterocarpaceae

N

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Anthocephalus chinensis

Rubiaceae

N

0.53


0.30

2.25


3.08

Aquilaria agallocha

Thymelaeaceae

N

0.53


0.60

1.13


2.26

Araucaria columnaris

Araucariaceae

E

1.05


1.20

1.13


3.38

Artocarpus chama

Moraceae


N

0.35


0.30

1.50


2.15

Artocarpus lakoocha 

Moraceae


N

0.53


0.90

0.75


2.18

Azadirachta indica 

Meliaceae

N

1.23


1.81

0.88


3.92

Barringtonia acutangula

Lecythidaceae

N

2.28


0.90

3.25


6.43

Bauhinia malabarica 

Caesalpiniaceae

N

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Bischofia javanica

Euphorbiaceae

N

0.53


0.30

2.25


3.08

Bombax  ceiba

Bombacaceae

E

1.05


1.20

1.13


3.38

Calophyllum inophyllum

Clusiaceae

N

0.35


0.60

0.75


1.70

Cassia  fistula 

Caesalpiniaceae

N

0.35


0.60

0.75


1.70

Cassia nodosa

Caesalpiniaceae

N

1.58


1.51

1.35


4.44

Castanopsis indica

Fagaceae


N

0.53


0.60

1.13


2.26

Ceiba pantandra 

Bombacaceae

E

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Chukrasia tabularis

Meliaceae

N

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.

Fabaceae


E

0.70


1.20

0.75


2.65

Dehaassia kuruzii 

Lauraceae

N

2.11


2.11

1.29


5.51

Delonix regia 

Caesalpiniaceae

E

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Dillenia  indica 

Dilleniaceae

N

0.53


0.60

1.13


2.28

Dillenia pentagyna

Dilleniaceae

N

2.28


1.81

1.63


5.72

Elaeocarpus  seratus

Elaeocarpaceae

N

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Eucalyptus camaldulensis 

Myrtaceae

E

1.41


0.90

2.00


4.31

Ficus bengalensis

Moraceae


N

0.35


0.60

0.75


1.70

Ficus glomerata 

Moraceae


N

0.35


0.60

0.75


1.70

Ficus racemosa

Moraceae


N

3.34


4.22

1.02


8.58

Ficus religiosa

Moraceae


N

0.35


0.60

0.75


1.70

Holarrhena antidysenterica

Apocynaceae

N

7.21


6.02

1.54


14.77

Hopea odorata

Dipterocarpaceae

N

0.35


0.60

0.75


1.7

Hydnocarpus kurzii

Flacourtiaceae

N

1.05


1.51

0.90


3.46

Lagerstroemia speciosa 

Lytraceae

E

2.28


2.71

1.08


6.07

Lannea coromandelica

Anacardiaceae

N

2.46


2.11

1.50


6.07

Leucaena  leucocephala 

Mimosaceae

E

1.23


0.60

2.63


4.46

Litchi chinensis

Sapindaceae

E

1.93


2.71

0.92


5.56

Lophopetalum fimbriatum

Euphorbiaceae

N

0.70


0.90

1.00


2.60

Macaranga  denticulata

Euphorbiaceae

N

2.82


3.19

2.24


8.25

Madhuca indica

Sapotaceae

E

0.70


0.90

1.00


2.60

Melia azedarach 

Meliaceae

E

0.35


0.30

1.50


2.15

Mesua ferrae 

Clusiaceae

N

0.70


0.30

3.00


4.00

Michelia champaca

Magnoliaceae

N

3.16


1.81

2.25


7.22

Mimosops elengi 

Sapotaceae

E

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Oroxylum indicum

Bignoniaceae

N

6.68


6.33

1.36


14.37

Peltophorum pterocarpum 

Caesalpiniaceae

E

1.23


1.51

1.05


3.79

Phyllanthus  emblica

Euphorbiaceae

N

2.28


2.41

1.22


5.91

Podocarpus neriifolia

Podocarpaceae

N

0.53


0.60

1.13


2.26

Polyalthia longifolia 

Annonaceae

E

1.05


0.30

4.50


5.85

Protium serratum

Buraseraceae

N

0.35


0.60

0.75


1.70

Psidium guajava 

Myrtaceae

E

4.39


2.41

2.35


9.15

Pterospermum acerifolium

Sterculiaceae

N

0.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Pterygota alata

Sterculiaceae

N

0.53


0.90

0.75


2.18

Sapindus mukorssi

Sapindaceae

N

0.88


1.51

0.75


3.14

Saraca  indica 

Mimosaceae

N

1.18


0.30

0.75


1.23

Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136

Page 7 of 9

Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

communities form the view point of improving livelihood and fulfilling 

fuel-wood needs. Three Focused Group Discussion (FGD) made in 

the three surrounding villages involving participants from the local 

communities revealed that more than 75% of the fuel requirements of 

90% participants were met by the fuel-wood and litter extracted from 

the Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park. People mainly collect 

branches and litters of Acacia auriculiformis, Acacia mangium, Xylia 

xylocarpa,  Lagerstroemia speciosa,  Holarrhena antidysenterica etc. 

plants for meeting their fuel demand. Local people also use Acacia 

auriculiformis as one of the important house building implements. The 

FGDs revealed that Stereospermum colais, Holarrhena antidysenterica, 

Toona ciliata, Syzygium spp. etc. native plants were widely used for 

both fuel and house building in the past. But, presently people become 

more dependent on the exotic plants because of their faster growth, 

usability and availability. In this circumstance, they used to cut and 

extract forest resources illegally from the Sitakunda Botanical Garden 

and Eco-park. Exotic plants also provide medicines, fodder, fruits 

and aesthetic beauty to the local community. Exotic timber trees, in 

particular, keep important role in the economy of the rural people. 

Now-a-days surrounding communities of eco-park are planting 

exotic tree species in their households and harvesting the same when 

get matured. Various exotic shurbs and herbs such as Chromaelina 

odorata, Lantana camara, Mimosa pudica etc are used as medicinal 

plants in their day to day life. Flowers of different exotic trees such as 

Bauhinia malabarica, Mimosops elengi, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis etc. are 

used for religious purposes by the local Hindu communities.

Discussion

The present study revealed a total of 103 exotic plant species from 

the Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park which was higher than 

that’s of Hossain and Hossain [7]. Hossain and Hossain [7] recorded 

96 exotic plants containing 39 herb species, 35 tree species, 13 shrub 

Figure 2: Habit forms of recorded exotic medicinal plant species (%).

31%

42%

24%

3%

Tree

Shrub

Herb

Climber

Shorea robusta

Dipterocarpaceae

N

1.76


1.20

1.88


4.84

Sterculia villosa

Sterculiaceae

N

1.23


0.90

1.75


3.88

Stereospermum colais

Bignoniaceae

N

5.98


7.53

1.02


14.53

Syzygium cumini

Myrtaceae

N

0.70


0.30

3.00


4.00

Syzygium firmum 

Myrtaceae

N

2.99


3.92

0.98


7.89

Syzygium fruticosum

Myrtaceae

N

1.23


1.51

1.05


3.79

Terminalia arjuna

Combretaceae

N

2.28


1.20

2.44


5.92

Terminalia bellirica 

Combretaceae

N

1.05


1.51

0.90


3.46

Terminalia catappa

Combretaceae

E

0.35


0.30

1.50


2.15

Toona ciliate

Meliaceae

N

0.71


1.20

0.75


2.65

Trewia nudiflora

Euphorbiaceae

N

1.05


1.20

1.13


6.03

Vitex glabrata

Verbanaceae

N

2.11


2.41

1.13


5.65

Vitex peduncularis

Verbanaceae

N

0.35


0.60

0.75


1.70

Xylia xylocarpa 

Mimosaceae

E

4.75


3.61

1.69


10.05

Table 4: List of tree species recorded from the 36 sample plots of the Eco-park with their Family, Status (native or exotic), Relative Density (RD), Relative Frequency (RF), 

Relative Dominance (RDo) and Importance Value Index (IVI). [E* = Exotic species, N = Native species].



Use category

No. of exotic plant species of Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park

Trees

Shrubs

Herbs

Climbers

Total species (No.)

Timber


39

39

Food or Fodder

13

9

6



1

29

Medicine


12

16

9



1

38

Miscellaneous

32

16

9



1

58

Ornamental

5

18

6



29

Fuel wood

17

4

1



22

Table 5: Traditional uses of recorded exotic plant species of various habit forms in the park area.

Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136

Page 8 of 9

Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

species, and 9 climber species from Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary, 

Bangladesh. Hossain and Pasha [15] reported 299 exotic plant species 

(139 herbs, 66 shrubs and 94 trees) from Bangladesh. The present study 

indicates existence of 26% (103 species) of all exotic plant species of 

Bangladesh in Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park, Chittagong.

The study also indicated that some of the common exotic tree 

species are Acacia auriculiformis, Acacia mangium,  Albizia saman, 

Eucalyptus camaldulensis,  Gliricidia sepium,  Hevea brasiliensis, 

Leucaena leucocephala,  Melaleuca leucodendron,  Paraserianthes 

falcataria,  Pinus caribaea,  Pinus oocarpa,  Swietenia macrophylla, 

Tectona grandis and Xylia xylocarpa. The species are also common in 

plantation forests of Bangladesh [5]. Hossain [5] reported 15 exotic tree 

species which are frequently used in large scale plantation programs 

of Bangladesh. The present study also revealed 4 exotic gymnosperms 

which were comparable to 3 exotic gymnosperms in Chunati Wildlife 

Sanctuary of Bangladesh [7].

The study revealed that massive plantation activities with exotic 

species like Xylia xylocarpa caused its dominance with other native 

species. Bangladesh Forest Department conducted the plantation 

activities with exotic species in order to cover the barren areas rapidly 

and conserve gene pool of wider number of plant species. Though a 

considerable number of exotic species were introduced in the eco-park 

area, some native and rare species appeared as dominant species in the 

eco-park.

The comparative occurrences of the native and exotic plants in 

different hill slopes and aspects showed that number of exotic species 

increase or decrease with the native species in different hill slopes of the 

eco-park. The southern hill aspects showed higher percentage of exotic 

species than that of other aspects.

Importance Value Index of tree species showed that some native 

species are still dominant in the study area, whereas some exotics are 

co-dominant. But, there exists an ecological threat to the native species 

that many of them may be suppressed by the exotics in the long run. 

In the present study, maximum Importance Value Index was found for 

native trees species. Whereas, Hossain and Hossain [7] reported the 

maximum Importance Value Index (IVI) for exotic tree species namely 

Acacia auriculiformis than other native trees recorded from Chunati 

Wildlife Sanctuary of Bangladesh. 

Surrounding communities are dependent at a greater extant 

on the both exotic and native plants of Sitakunda Botanical Garden 

and Eco-park for different forest resources including fuel, medicine, 

housing materials along with other minor forest produces. People also 

generate income by selling illegally extracted forest produces (fuel-

wood, poles, house building implements, broom grass, bamboo etc.) 

in the local markets. Apparently, it reduces the recruitment of the 

seedlings of important exotic and indigenous plantation tree species 

in the Eco-park. Though, the exotics meet demands of forest produces 

at a considerable amount, but they are replacing the native plant 

community gradually which is detrimental to biodiversity and natural 

ecosystem conservation.

Sitakunda, the first eco-park in Bangladesh, was one of the areas 

of the country that seems to be rich in biodiversity. Semi-evergreen 

forests of the eco-park area comprised of many evergreen and 

deciduous species. As a Botanical Garden, it is playing a vital role in 

ex-situ conservation of biodiversity. A considerable number of woody 

and non-woody plant species have been planted in this garden [8,12]. A 

number of exotic plant species along with some rare and native species 

have also been planted in the garden. But, now a days this park is in great 

threat due to over exploitation, illicit felling and fuel wood collection by 

the local people. Intentional fire hazards during dry season were also a 

great threat to the forest resources. The number of exotic tree species 

in the park was found comparatively higher than the shrubs and herbs 

probably because of frequent intentional fire occurrences in previous 

years. 

Conclusion

A number of economically important exotics were introduced in 

Bangladesh over a long period [6] and these exotic species are getting 

preferences over the indigenous ones in the plantation programs of the 

country [20]. After establishment of the Botanical Garden and Eco-

park, a considerable number of exotic plant species were introduced in 

the park area for preserving their gene-pool. It is wise to plant all sorts 

of plants from gene conservation of wider species point of view but 

considering conservation of natural ecosystems and native biodiversity 

population of exotic plants should be controlled. The present findings 

(103 exotic plant species belonging to 90 genera and 43 families) is a 

preliminary list of exotic plant species of the park area. For conserving 

the gene-pool of both native and exotic plant species and securing 

optimal productivity of all plants on a sustainable basis, it is right time 

to protect, conserve and manage the garden properly. Further study 

could also be carried out to assess the ecological impacts of existing 

exotic plants on native plant species of Sitakunda Botanical Garden and 

Eco-park.



References

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Citation: Dutta S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA, Chowdhury P (2015) Exotic Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. doi:

10.4172/21689776.1000136

Page 9 of 9

Volume 4 • Issue 1 • 1000136

Forest Res

ISSN: 2168-9776 FOR, an open access journal 

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Citation:  Dutta  S, Hossain MK, Hossain MA,  Chowdhury  P  (2015) Exotic 

Plants and their Usage by Local Communities in the Sitakunda Botanical 

Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Forest Res 4: 136. 

doi:


10.4172/21689776.1000136

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Document Outline

  • Title
  • Corresponding author
  • Abstract 
  • Keywords
  • Introduction
  • Material and Methods  
    • Study site 
  • Methods 
  • Results 
    • Exotic species composition and their habit form 
    • Comparison between the native and exotic tree species recorded from the eco-park 
    • Plant use 
    • Harmful exotic plants in Sitakunda botanical garden and eco-park 
    • Impacts of exotic plant species on local community around the eco-park area 
  • Discussion 
  • Conclusion 
  • Table 1
  • Table 2
  • Figure 1
  • Table 3
  • Table 4
  • Figure 2
  • Table 5
  • References


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