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Ficus benghalensis


Ficus benghalensis L.

Family Name: Moraceae
Synonyms: Ficus banyana
Common Name: Indian Banyan, Banyan Tree, East Indian Fig Tree, Ara Banyan, Bayan


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution India and Pakistan
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form it is a big tree that grows up to 30 m tall with a wide spreading crown.
Trunk Ficus benghalensis produces aerial roots which turn into woody trunks once they reach the ground.
Foliage  Leaves are ovate to elliptic. Both the primary and lateral veins are prominent.
Flowers It is monoecious where both male and female flowers occurs on the same individual.
Fruits Fruits are borne in pairs in the leaf axils. They are globose to depressed-globose, measuring 1-2.5 cm in diameter, and turning red or orange when ripe.
Habitat it is found in tropical forests, up to 1,200 m altitude.
Associated Fauna it is pollinated by fig wasp, Eupristina masoni .
Etymology The genus Ficus, in Latin, refers to the commercial edible fig (Ficus carica). The specific epithet benghalensis is named after the Bengal region.
Ethnobotanical Uses Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Trees : There is currently one individual of Ficus benghalensis listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found at Tiong Bahru Park. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This tree is often planted in gardens and along streets. In India, this tree is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists, usually planted around temples.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Shade Providing Tree / Palm
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Sap

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Fruits)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp), Associated with: Eupristina masoni)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange, Red

Image Repository



Master ID 1606
Species ID 2899
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 18 February 2022.