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(băn`yən), species of fig (Ficus bengalensis) of the family Moraceae (mulberrymulberry,
common name for the Moraceae, a family of deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs, often climbing, mostly of pantropical distribution, and characterized by milky sap. Several genera bear edible fruit, e.g.
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 family), native to India, where it is venerated. Its seeds usually germinate in the branches of some tree where they have been dropped by birds. The young plant puts forth aerial rootlets, which, on reaching the ground, take root to form secondary trunks to support the giant horizontal limbs. Branches from these trunks ultimately send down more such prop roots until the banyan crowds out the host tree and becomes grovelike in appearance, often covering large areas. This undergrowth is sometimes trimmed to form arbors. Alexander the Great is said to have camped under a banyan tree that was big enough to shelter his whole army of 7,000 men. The seeds frequently germinate on walls and buildings, causing considerable damage, as do the related strangling figs of tropical America. Banyan is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Urticales, family Moraceae.


, banian
1. a moraceous tree, Ficus benghalensis, of tropical India and the East Indies, having aerial roots that grow down into the soil forming additional trunks
2. a member of the Hindu merchant caste of N and W India


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References in periodicals archive ?
Environmental conflicts together with known and unknown factors have caused the dying of some of the existing Banyan trees in the estuaries located in Naiband Bay.
Mr Harkin, who has now resigned from R-JH, told a News of the World undercover reporter, who posed as a rich Arab sheikh, that he could call the Banyan Tree in Phuket to get a 'discreet villa' for gay sex with young boys.
R-JH was appointed as the UK PR agency for the Banyan Tree and began work on March 1 this year.
There were two large banyan trees in front of the Gardens, which have been cut down because of the Orange Line project.
"It is sad that there is less emphasis on planting banyan trees for shade and for keeping the environment cool.
"I know there is nobody out there but I remember the good old days when Ghazala [his wife who passed away five years ago] and I used to sit under that old banyan tree in winters eating peanuts.