Articles

Ficus religiosa L.

Ficus religiosa L.

Family

Moraceae

Synonyms

Ficus caudata Stokes, Ficus superstitiosa Link, Ficus peepul Griffith.

Vernacular Names

English

Bo tree, bodhi tree, pipal tree.

Indonesia Bodhi.
Thailand Pho see ma haa pho (Central), yong (Shan-Mae Hong Son), salee (Northern).
Cambodia Dom pur.
Laos

Pho.

Vietnam C[aa]y b[oof] d[eef], c[aa]y da, c[aa]y da b[oof] d[eef].

Geographical Distributions

Ficus religiosa is originally from the Himalayas to southern China (Yunnan), Vietnam and northern Thailand; nowadays is widely cultivated in the Malesian region but also in e.g. the Middle East, northern Africa and the United States.

Description

Ficus religiosa, which can reach up to 20 m tall, is an evergreen or deciduous banyan or small to medium-sized tree. Its bark surface is fissured and grey.

The leaves are arranged spirally, ovate-cordate to ovate, measuring 6-26 cm x 4-16 cm, with subcordate to truncate base, caudate at apex, often with uneven or sinuous margin, with 6-9 pairs of lateral veins, hairless and with stipules up to 1.5 cm long. The figs are axillary, paired, sessile, nearly spherical, measuring 10-15 mm in diametre, smooth, pink, purple or black when ripening.

The flowers are with free tepals where the male flowers are arranged in 1 row, sessile and with 2-3 tepals while the female flowers are sesĀ­sile or with short stalk and 3-4(-5) tepals.

Ecology / Cultivation

Ficus religiosa occurs naturally in submontane forests.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Ficus_religiosa

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.