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banyan (bănˈyən), species of fig (Ficus bengalensis) of the family Moraceae (mulberry 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 Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Urticales, family Moraceae.
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, 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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A personal computer networking company, best known for its "Vines" products for local area networks.

Address: Westborough MA, USA.

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(ePresence, Westboro, MA) A well-established consulting company specializing in systems integration and secure identity management that was acquired in 2004 by Unisys. Its history dates back to 1983 when it was founded as Banyan Systems, Inc., named after the Banyan tree.

Banyan was known for its sophisticated VINES network operating system and Streettalk directory products, which were way ahead of their time and which became dominant in federal government before Novell and Microsoft made major inroads. Banyan discontinued its products in 1999, but used its vast experience to reposition itself as a consulting services organization. In 2000, Banyan acquired ePresence, Inc., a privately held company specializing in Web design and development, and changed its name to reflect its e-business offerings. See VINES, Streettalk, BeyondMail and Intelligent Messaging.
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References in periodicals archive ?
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.