Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Eastern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)
Moraceae

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Ficus religiosa L.

Leaf arrangement

Alternate distichous

Leaf Type

Simple

Leaf Shape

Ovate

Leaf Apex

Caudate

Leaf Base

Truncate

Leaf Margin

Undulate

Habit : A large tree, often starting as an epiphyte.

Habitat and Distribution : Plains from the coast up to 1200m. Often planted around temples. Indian subcontinent.

Indigenous Information : Leaves and roots are used for medicinal purposes. Ragi roti made in leaf of this tree, given as a cure for stammering. Tree exudes white latex which is applied to cracked feet. Fruits eaten by birds. Monkeys eat leaf shoots. Elephants eat leaves. According to adivasi belief here, God lives in this tree, as its leaves are always shaking, even if there is no breeze.

Field Tips : With few or no aerial roots, often epiphytic. Bark grey smooth. Leaf fall March-April. New foliage April-May.

 

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Names:

English : Sacred Fig
Irula : Arasa
Tamil : Arasa maram
Hindi : Pipal
Malayalam : Arayaal
Kannada : Arali

Flower:

A fig, axillary, paired, sessile, ripening pink, purple or black.

Fruit :

Seed achene, smooth, many. Fruiting from April-September.

All from Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Eastern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)
Moraceae