“The rugged terrain of the dense tropical rain forest is rough and dark. Giant banyan trees dominate the scene with their big gnarled, clawed like roots. The undergrowths are intermingled with the dangling air roots of the majestic trees” …………….. The quote above explains that banyan tree is a large majestic tree with exposed roots both on the ground and the ones that hanging down (aerial roots). Banyan is the name that is common in India, while in Indonesia it is called Beringin and the botanical name is Ficus benjamina/Benghalensis. It is known that banyan trees live for hundreds of years. When the trees old enough, the aerial roots grow very thick and harden like small trunks. When these hardened roots touch the ground, they will anchor themselves into the ground giving the large tree an appearance of having multiple trunks and it will make it possible for the canopy to grow wider.Native to South and South East Asia, this tree grows well in Tropical climate which is hot and humid. It can grow up to 30 m (100 ft) with very large and wide canopy. The small fruits are good food supply for some species of birds and other animals like monkeys. The canopy is also a place for birds and other animals to live and built their nests. While in Asia the canopy gives people some protection from the heat of the sun. In India or Indonesia, you can find street peddlers open their business under the dense canopy of this banyan tree. The glossy deep green or variegated leaves are about 8 cm long, oval in shape with pointy tips. In Asia like for example Indonesia and India, the practice of Animism and Hinduism makes people believe that banyan trees are holy trees that can protect the area from evil spirits. And some believe that spirits live in the tree so in order to make the spirits friendly, people give offerings and burn incense under the tree. In gardening, these species of ficus trees are cultivated to grow in pots as indoor plant. People make a big mistake by planting this tree in the garden, as it can grow too big for a suburban garden and the roots are regarded as invasive. Ficus benjamina is also a very good species for making bonsai.
Banyan the Majestic Tree
June 4, 2011