Ficus benghalensis Seeds
Common Names: Banyan Fig Tree, Indian Banyan
Ficus benghalensis, the banyan, is a large and extensive growing tree of the Indian subcontinent. Ficus benghalensis produces propagating roots which grow downwards as aerial roots. Once these roots reach the ground, they grow into woody trunks that can become indistinguishable from the main trunk. This tree is considered sacred in India, and often shelters a little or larger temple underneath, but is offered worship on its own generally too, and especially so on one particular full moon day in summer when the full moon occurs near the last star of the constellation Scorpio but definitely before beginning of Sagittarius. Even apart from the worship, it is one of the most sheltering trees in the heat of the land, with a large and deep shade, and is thus extremely useful for travelers of the old sort - on foot, bicycles or oxcarts, or horse riders - travelling for hours or days; traditionally it was found almost ubiquitously on roads and in village centers, the latter very useful for any formal or informal gathering to be conducted in a cool place or even for any poor person or a traveler to sleep under. The respect for this and other trees of this nature is thus linked both to the use and the worship as sacred. Also known as Indian Banyan, Ficus bengalensis is also the National tree of India.
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