Peepal tree

Scientific Name :
Ficus religiosa L.
Synonym(s) :
Ficus religiosa Forssk.
Local/Common name(s) :
Arayal, Peepal tree
Family :
Moraceae
Habit :
Tree
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
December-May
Habitat :
Deciduous forests, also in the plains
Endemic :
No
Status (IUCN) :
Distribution :
India, Sri Lanka, South East Asia, Polynesia, Africa; Kerala: throughout
Nativity :
Indigenous
Uses :
Medicine, Food, Fodder
Description (Morphology) :

Deciduous trees, to 25 m high; aerial roots absent; bark grey, smooth; exudation milky. Leaves simple, alternate, spiral; new leaves pink; stipules lateral, ovate-lanceolate, puberulous; petiole stout, glabrous, articulated, a gland at the apex below; lamina broadly ovate, base truncate or subcordate, apex caudate-acuminate, margin entire, undulate, glabrous, shining, coriaceous; 5-7-ribbed from base, lateral nerves 8-10 pairs, pinnate, slender, prominent beneath, looped near the margin, intercostae reticulate, prominent. Flowers unisexual; inflorescence a syconia, sessile, axillary, in pairs, obovoid or globose, twig wall thick; basal bracts 3, ovate-obtuse, siky-puberulous, persistent, orifice, closed by 3 apical bracts in a disc 2-3 mm wide; internal bristles none; flowers of 4 kinds; male flowers ostiolar, sessile, in one ring; tepals 2, ovate-lanceolate, free, reddish; stamen 1; filaments 0.2 mm; anther oblong, parallel; female flowers sessile; tepals 3-4, linear-lanceolate, free, brownish, glabrous; ovary superior, ovoid-oblong, 1 mm, red-brown, style 1.5 mm, lateral, stigma rounded; gall flowers similar to female. Syconium 4-8 mm across, ripening pink, purple or black; achenes smooth.

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