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Department of Botany

Since 1980

Ficus benghalensis L.



   Botanical NameFicus benghalensis L.
   SynonymsFicus indica. L.; Ficus banyan .Oken
   Common NameEnglish: Banyan, East Indian Fig / Tamil: Aalamaram
   DistributionGlobal : India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Indian : Throughout India.
   DescriptionLarge spreading evergreen tree, 20 - 25 m tall, epiphytic in early life with numerous aerial roots from the branches which thicken and ultimately become stilts. Bark grayish brown, smooth, younger parts softly pubescent. Leaves elliptic-ovate, margin entire, obtuse at apex, rounded at base, coriaceous. Figs in axillary pairs, sessile, globose, silky pubescent, basal bracts suborbicular. Male and female flowers in the same receptacle. Male flowers numerous near the mouth of the receptacle, perianth segments 4, stamens - 1. Gall flowers similar, with a short style, Female flowers with smaller perianth and elongated style. Syconus fruit scarlet red when ripe.
   Flowering Fruiting periodMarch-May
   UsesDurable wood under the water and planted along road side. Common in sacred grooves.
   Medicinal UsesUsed to kill the worm in wound; barks and roots are reported to have various medicinal properties.
   Tamil NameAalamaram