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Ficus benghalensis

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Definition

noun

(botany) A fig species of the family Moraceae that is native to the Indian Subcontinent and colloquially known as the Indian banyan


Supplement

Ficus benghalensis is one of the species of the genus Ficus. Ficus is a genus characterized by having large, thick, or stiff leaves. Members of this genus are characterized by possessing a white to yellowish latex, a unique inflorescence, and a distinctive pollination system (i.e. involving a specific wasp species (i.e. fig wasp of the family Agaonidaeas pollinators). The fruit is an enclosed inflorescence (i.e. syconium).

Ficus benghalensis is a fig tree native to the Indian Subcontinent. It is colloquially known as the Indian banyan tree or simply banyan. It is the national tree of the Republic of India and is sacred and culturally significant to locals. This species, similar to other Ficus species (especially the strangler figs), has aerial roots that eventually reach and grow into the soil and serve as additional trunks of the tree. They grow as hemiepiphytes and account for being the largest trees in the world based on area of canopy coverage. Thimmamma Marrimanu in Anantapur is the largest known tree in the world, covering more than 19,000 m2.


Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Moraceae
  • Genus: Ficus
  • Subgenus: Urostigma
  • Species: Ficus benghalensis

Other common name(s):

  • Indian banyan

See also: