Can you identify this big tree with red berries?
Ficus benghalensis, with the common name Indian banyan tree. The Banyan tree is the national Tree of India. Ficus benghalensis is also known as the ‘Bengal fig’ and ‘Indian fig’. The name originates from the word ‘Baniya’ or ‘Indian traders’ who sat below the tree shades for meetings and other useful gatherings.
Indian banyan produces propagating roots which grow downwards as aerial roots. Once these roots reach the ground they grow into woody trunks. The tree is considered sacred in India. Temples are often built beneath the Banyan tree . Known in Hindu mythology as ‘the wish-fulfilling tree’, banyans represent eternal life. In India food is often served on Banyan tree leaves. Banyan has many uses in traditional medicine.In Ayurveda, the bark, latex, leaf buds as well as the fruits of the tree are used as ingredients in medicine. Did you know that Banyan is also used in the production of shellac, an important ingredient of French polish. 🙂