TREE of the Day: BANYAN TREE

BANYAN TREE

Sacred stories are told about the ageless Banyan Tree.  Merchants who were trading in India used to sit under the Banyan Tree.  They met their clients sitting down under the spreading tree. In the Gujarati language, banya means “grocer or merchant.”  By 1634. after the Portuguese used the word banya to refer to Hindu merchants, English writers described the tree where they sat>  It became known as the Banyan Tree.

With age, the thick woody trunks of the banyan tree became gnarled and tangled and so twisted that it is difficult to distinguish the main trunk from its lateral branches.

Beginning its life as a small fig tree, the banyan is the national tree of India.  The species Ficus benghalensis or the Indian banyan bears multiple fruit as it grows to maturity. Fruit-eating birds flock to the banyan tree.

Unfortunatelly, the banyan tree has been nicknamed “the strangler fig” because it may envelop the host tree and strangle others as it competes for the light in the forest.

Merchants who were trading in India used to sit under the Banyan ree 

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