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Species, botanical information and characteristics of the ficus religiosa known as Peepal tree

Species, botanical information and characteristics of the ficus religiosa

The ficus religiosa known as the Peepal tree

Ficus religiosa, known as the Peepal tree, is a real and existing species with distinctive characteristics that include heart-shaped leaves, gray bark, and a spreading canopy. Its cultural and spiritual significance in various traditions adds to its importance and has contributed to its preservation and cultivation in many parts of Asia.

Species

Ficus religiosa

Botanical Information

  • Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)
  • Genus: Ficus
  • Species: religiosa

Characteristics

Leaves

The leaves of Ficus religiosa are heart-shaped and often have a distinctive long tip. They are medium to large in size, typically measuring around 10 to 17 centimeters in length. The leaves are glossy green on the upper surface and paler on the underside. They have prominent veins that radiate out from the central midrib.

Bark

The bark of the Peepal tree is pale gray and often smooth when young, becoming rougher and darker as the tree matures. It tends to shed in patches, revealing the lighter bark underneath.

Fruits

The fruit of Ficus religiosa is a small fig-like structure that starts green and matures to a purplish color. It’s not a commonly eaten fruit by humans but is an important source of food for birds and animals.

Growth Habit

The Peepal tree can grow to be quite large, with a spreading canopy that provides ample shade. Its branches often have a characteristic aerial root system, which can give the tree a unique appearance.

Habitat

Ficus religiosa is native to the Indian subcontinent and other parts of Southeast Asia. It’s commonly found in a variety of habitats, including plains, hills, and near water bodies.

Cultural Significance

The Peepal tree holds significant cultural and religious importance in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and other traditions, as discussed in previous responses. It is often planted in temple courtyards, near sacred sites, and in public spaces, becoming a focal point for spiritual practices and rituals.

Propagation and Growth

Ficus religiosa can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. It prefers a well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. The tree is known for its rapid growth under favorable conditions, and its aerial roots can help it establish in a variety of environments. It’s often considered a low-maintenance tree once established.

Species, botanical information and characteristics of the ficus religiosa
Species, botanical information and characteristics of the ficus religiosa

Resumed in a table

Botanical Information
FamilyMoraceae
GenusFicus
Speciesreligiosa
Characteristics
LeavesHeart-shaped, 10-17 cm in length, glossy green on upper surface, paler underside
BarkPale gray, smooth when young, rougher and darker with age, sheds in patches
FruitsSmall fig-like, green maturing to purplish
Growth HabitLarge, spreading canopy with aerial root system
HabitatNative to Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, found in various habitats
Cultural SignificanceRevered in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, used in rituals and spiritual practices
Propagation and Growth
PropagationSeeds or cuttings
Soil and SunlightWell-drained soil, plenty of sunlight
Growth RateRapid under favorable conditions
MaintenanceConsidered low-maintenance once established

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Seek to serve humanity in preserving nature. Do not cut or pee the tree

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