Scientific Name :
Ficus benghalensis L. var. benghalensis
Urostigma bengalense (L.) Gasp.
Local/Common name(s) :
Peraal, Benyan tree
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
Dry deciduous forests, also in the plains
Status (IUCN) :
Indian subcontinent; widely grown as avenue tree
Description (Morphology) :
Spreading trees, to 30 m high; aerial roots numerous from the branches; bark 10-12 mm thick, greyish-white, smooth, exfoliating in irregular flakes; blaze dull red; exudation milky latex; young parts softly pubescent; branchlets light brownish. Leaves simple, alternate, spiral; stipules lateral, 2-2.5 cm long, sheathing, white-puberulous, deciduous, leaving annular scar, glandular at apex below; lamina 10-20 x 5-12.5 cm, ovate, base round or subcordate, apex obtuse, margin entire, coriaceous, glabrescent above, minutely pubescent beneath; 3-7-ribbed from base, lateral nerves 4-6 pairs, pinnate, prominent, intercostae reticulate, prominent. Flowers unisexual; inflorescence a syconia, sessile, in axillary pairs, globose, puberulous without; basal bracts 3, broad, round, glabrous, coriaceous, persistent, orifice plane, closed by 3 bracts in a 3-4 mm wide disc; internal bristles none; flowers of 4 kinds; male flowers dispersed with female, rather numerous near the mouth of the receptacles; pedicel 0.5-2.8 mm long; tepals 2-3, rather broad, shortly connate, brownish, glabrous; stamens 1; filament 0.8-1 mm; anther oblong, parallel, unequal, shortly mucronate, connective brown; female flowers sesile; tepals 3-4, shortly connate, brownish, glabrous, ovary superior, 1.5 x 1 mm, obovoid-globose, dark brown on stylar side; style erect or curved, tapering; gall flowers similar to female but pedicellate. Syconium 1.5-2 cm across, ripening orange to red, achenes 2 x 1.5 mm, globose-ellipsoid, dark brown.