Botanical Name of Banyan Tree

Introduction: Banyan Tree

The Banyan Tree is considered as the national tree of India. Its botanical name is Ficus Benghalensis. It belongs to the Moraceae or mulberry family of the plants. It is a type of plant which grows on another plant by germinating seeds in a crack of a host tree. This process is called epiphyte.

There are about 800 different varieties of Ficus around the world. It is also called the Indian Fig Tree. This tree grows across a large area. Banyan trees are found in the Indian subcontinent. Some of its variations of Banyan tree are also found in tropical subtropical parts of the world such as Florida. It can be 10–25 meters high. Its branches can span up to 100 meters.

The banyan trees can be seen all around India. Since ancient times the banyan trees have been an integral part of villages in India. People still gather under these banyan trees and have discussions and chats there. The banyan tree has great importance and it is considered sacred in the Hindu culture. There are many myths and legends associated with this tree. It is considered as the eternal tree.

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Scientific Classification

Scientific Name − Ficus Benghalensis

Family − Plantae

Class − Magnoliopsida

Order −Urticales

Division −Magnoliophyta

Genus −Ficus

Found in −Indian subcontinent, Central and South America


Banyan trees can grow very large in size. It has heavy and broad stems. This tree can spread indefinitely. Banyan trees develop aerial roots from branches. These roots then come down to the ground and take roots in the ground and become trunks. As a result of tangles of roots and trunks a single tree can sometimes become a dense thicket. A banyan tree in Andhra Pradesh has the broadest canopy of any three in the world.

The banyan tree has large sized - elliptically shaped green leaves. These leaves are glossy and leathery. Young banyan tree leaves are slightly reddish in the beginning. Two large scales cover the leaf buds. The scales abscise as the leaf ages.

The banyan tree bears their fruit in the form of syconium structure. The syconium of Ficus species provides food and shelter to fig wasps. Fig wasps are responsible for the pollination in banyan trees.

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Characteristic Features

Banyan trees have a very long-life span. These trees can live for 300 years. It is the biggest tree on earth in terms of the area covered by it.

  • Most banyan trees grow in forests or woodlands. Although the tree is of very large size, it has small size seeds.

  • Birds are mostly responsible for dispersing its seeds. Sometimes the seeds fall by themselves and land on stems or branches of other trees. On germinating they grow roots down towards the ground. As a result, some of these new plants may envelop part of the host tree.

  • Many tropical banyan tree species compete for sunlight and thus strangulate one another or any other tree present in its surrounding. When a banyan tree envelops its host tree, its roots grow to a great extent and apply so much pressure on the host tree roots that the host tree eventually dies.

  • Banyan trees usually grow in warm and dry weather. Tropical and subtropical weather is ideal for its development. It requires lots of sunlight to grow and flourish.

    Though it does not require any particular type of soil for its growth, but if someone is trying to grow it in a pot then the best kind of soil is a mix of akadama, pozzolana, and pumice stone along with potting soil in equal measures.

Banyan Tree Classification

A banyan tree can grow into a huge tree covering large space. There are many different species of banyan trees.

Some of these are as follows −

Ficus Macrocarpa

It is native to the Indian continent and mainland southeast Asia. It grows around India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan etc. It also grows around New Guinea, Australia, etc.

Central American Banyan

It is found in Central America and northern South America.

Florida Strangler Fig

It is mainly found in South Florida. It is also found in the Caribbean islands.

Shortleaf Fig

This type of banyan tree is native to South America, Caribbean islands and Central America.

Some other variations are Moreton Bay fig and Port Jackson fig.

Banyan Tree Uses

There are multiple uses of the banyan tree. Each part of it can be used.

  • It helps soil conservation.

  • Its wood is very useful in furniture making. It can be used to make boxes, door panels and well curbs.

  • It is also used in paper making.

  • Its roots are very strong and are frequently used for tent poles.

  • In some parts of India its leaves are used as plates during feasts.

Banyan trees possess several medicinal properties. Several parts of banyan tree such as its leaves, bark and seeds are used in many different ways. There is milky latex that comes from its leaves and stem.

  • This milky latex is used in many Ayurveda medicines.

  • Small budding leaves of banyan tree can be used for treating diarrhoea, irritation of gastrointestinal tract.

  • The aerial roots of banyan trees are considered very good for gums and teeth. Their roots work as natural toothpaste. They help in making teeth stronger and are helpful in curing bad breath.

  • Banyan tree bark is good for immunity boosting. The Banyan tree leaves and barks have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves and barks are helpful in the treatment of burning sensation and painful skin diseases.


Q1. Which of the following is the national tree of India?

a) Mango tree

b) Banyan tree

c) Sandalwood tree

d) Neem tree

Ans: b

Q2. What is the scientific name of a banyan tree?

a) Azadirachta Indica

b) Ailanthus Excelsa

c) Santalum Album Linn.

d) Ficus Benghalensis

Ans: d

Q3. What is the approximate height of a banyan tree?

a) 5 – 10 meters

b) 10 – 15 meters

c) 10 – 25 meters

d) 50 – 100 meters

Ans: c

Q4. Which of the following is not a correct type of banyan trees?

a) Ficus Macrocarpa

b) Port Jackson Fig

c) Acacia Catechu

d) All of the above are types of banyan trees

Ans: c

Q5. Which of the following is the correct order of banyan trees?

a) Urticales

b) Catechu

c) Rosales

d) Conifers

Ans: a

Qns 6 − How many scales cover the leaf buds in the banyan trees?

a) None

b) One

c) Two

d) Three

Ans: c


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Updated on: 13-Oct-2022

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