Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Ficus religiosa Linn.

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Ficus religiosa Linn. Family


Ficus religiosa Linn. English Name

The Peepal

Ficus religiosa Linn. Local Name


Ficus religiosa Linn.

Ficus religiosa Linn. Description

A large deciduous tree that is leafless or nearly so for a short period during hot seasons. The leaves are simple, large 10 to 15 cm by 6 to 12 cm and are broadly ovate, abruptly lanceolate, and shiny on the top side. The bark is grey and smooth with small irregular scales when old. It flowers in April and May. The fruit (fig) grows in the axil of the lower leaves and are 1.2 cm in diameter. Seeds are very small. Fruit matures from October to November. It is reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means. It will coppice. Seeds are very small and are sometimes spread in bird droppings. The growth rate of this tree is fast. Height growth of 1 m/yr has been reported. Spiral grained, whitish grey sapwood, having medium strength.

Ficus religiosa Linn.

Ficus religiosa Linn. Distribution

The tree is common in the sub-Himalayas but probably is not native. Throughout the plains. A very intolerant tree that is cultivated on a large variety of sites but does best on sandy clay soils. It is adapted to an elevation zone of 0 to 1200 m with a precipitation range of 800 to 1000 mm/yr. It grows well within a temperature range of 0 to 40°C in a semi-arid, warm, sub-tropical climate.

Ficus religiosa Linn.

Ficus religiosa Linn. Uses

The tree has value as an avenue tree and is planted along water courses is a good fodder tree. Because of its fodder and fig potential it could have importance as a farm forestry tree. Also used for ornamental, fodder, food (figs), small timber, and medicinal purposes.

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