Ficus benghalensis L.

Kannada Name : Aalada mara
Common Name : Banyan tree, Strangler fig
Family Name : Moraceae
Scientific Name : Ficus benghalensis
Species Type : Indigenous
Phenology : Evergreen
Conservation Status : Not known
Flowering Period : March - April
Fruiting Period : March - May
Origin : Indian subcontinent


The leaves are used to remedy dysentery and diarrhoea. They are used in a decoction with toasted rice as a diaphoretic. The young leaves are heated and used as a poultice. The bark is tonic and diuretic. A decoction of the root fibres is useful as a treatment against gonorrhoea, whereas the tender ends of the aerial roots are used for obstinate vomiting.


A large, evergreen to deciduous tree, up 25 m tall, pillar-like prop roots and accessory trunks. Trunk massive, fluted, bark grey, smooth, young softly white puberulous. Leaves with stout, hairy petiole; simple, ovate or obovate to elliptic, glabrous above, finely pubescent beneath, coriaceous, base subcordate or rounded, apex obtuse, margin entire, cystoliths abundant on side, few or absent below. Inflorescence a syconium. Hypanthodia sessile, in axillary pairs on young depressed-globose, green, hairy, minutely hairy basal bracts, Male flowers: numerous ostiolar; stamen solitary, with shortly mucronate anther. Female flowers: sessile, mixed with gall flowers, small. Gall flowers numerous, pedicellate. Figs globose to depressed-globose, pinkish-red, hairy.