Ficus benghalensis L.

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Banyan Tree
Synonym: Urostigma bengalense (L.)Gasp.
Common Name: Aal, Nyagrodham, Vadavriksham
Flowering & Fruiting Period: March - December
Distribution: Indian subcontinent; widely grown as avenue tree
Habitat: Dry deciduous forests, also in the plains
Uses: Sacred Indian plant, ayurvedic, fruits edible, remedy for tooth pain, bonsai material, ornamental. The leaves are used to remedy dysentery and diarrhoea. They are used in a decoction with toasted rice as a diaphoretic. The bark is tonic and diuretic. An infusion is antidiabetic and a decoction is used as an astringent in the treatment of leucorrhoea. The fruit is tonic and has a cooling effect.
Key Characteristics: Ficusbenghalensis are spreading trees; aerial roots numerous from the branches. Leaves simple, alternate, spiral. Flowers unisexual; inflorescence a syconia; flowers of 4 kinds; male flowers dispersed with female; tepals 2-3, brownish, glabrous; stamens 1; female flowers sesile; tepals 3-4, shortly connate, brownish, ovary superior; style erect or curved; gall flowers similar to female but pedicellate. Syconium - ripening orange to red.