Banyan - plant profile
The plantBanyan is a very large tree, spreading by aerial roots which eventually become accessory trunks. Older trees can reach more than 200m in diameter, covering an area of some hectares with a height of 30m. Banyan is epiphytic when young, sometimes growing on young trees and strangling them with its roots.
|Image: Banyan tree growing in Corbett National Park, India.|
Leaves - are large, 25x17cm, leathery, smooth on top but hairy underneath. They are cut from the tree and used as fodder for animals.
Fruits - called figs are about 1.8cm in diameter orange-red turning scarlet when ripe. They have hardly any stalks so grow very close to the branches. The ripe fruits are very popular with birds and monkeys and are eaten by humans in times of famine.
Flowers - are pollinated by two types of wasps, one (in the Blastophaga genus) pollinates the smaller flowers and the other (in the genus Apocrypta) the large flowers.