Native to India and Pakistan, banyan is a type of strangling fig. The plant begins life growing on other trees and eventually envelops them completely. Aerial roots hang down from the branches and these eventually become trunks. This circle of trunks deriving from one original tree can reach an enormous size – 200 metres in diameter and 30 metres in height. Tree, often very large, up to 30 m tall, with many aerial roots which can develop into new trunks so that the tree goes on spreading laterally indefinitely; a single tree can thus cover a very wide area. A Banyan can get 100 feet tall and, with its massive limbs supported by prop roots, spread over an area of several acres. This banyan has large, thick leathery leaves. Cultivar ‘Krishnae’ has leaves with an enrolled or funnel-like base. When young, the leaves are brown and hairy and as they mature they become glossy green with only traces of hair and obvious veins. The fruit or fig is orange to red as it matures and contains many very small seeds.
In the beginning of its life the Indian banyan is an epiphyte growing on another tree where some fig-eating bird deposited a seed. As it grows it starts to produces aerial roots from horizontal branches, which take root where they touch the ground. These “prop roots” will create a forest on their own.
The tree is considered sacred in India, and temples are often built beneath. Due to the large size of the tree’s canopy it provides useful shade in hot climates.
According to Ayurveda, The Indian Banyan is astringent to bowels and useful in treatment of biliousness, ulcers, vomiting, vaginal complains, fever, inflammations and leprosy. The Indian banyan tree is planted for soil conservation. The timber is used for furniture and it is suitable for paper pulp. The leaf with a crude protein content of 9.63% is used for fodder. Fruits are traditionally used to prepare Shurbut.
Height – 2 Meter