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|Ficus religiosa, commonly called bo tree, Bodhi tree, peepul and sacred fig, is native to Southeast Asia, southwest China, India and the Himalayan foothills. It is a large broadleaf evergreen tree with wide-spreading branching that grows to 60-100’ tall. Over time, the trunk may grow to as much as 9' in diameter. In native monsoon climates, this tree is semi-deciduous to deciduous. It is epiphytic. Tree seed (often deposited by birds) may germinate in upper tree crevices, producing dangling, non-parasitic, aerial roots that grow to the ground, root in the soil and produce trunks. Figs that begin as epiphytes are often generally called Banyans (although the Banyan name is sometimes used only for Ficus benghalensis). Bo tree develops an attractive pale gray bark. Ovate-rounded, glossy, dark green leaves (to 7" long) are cordate with distinctive, extremely narrow, elongated tips. In its native habitat, the fruits of this tree (globular figs to 1/2” diameter) appear solitary or in pairs, emerging green but ripening to purple. Bo tree is sacred to followers of Buddhism and Hinduism because Guatama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, reportedly sat under such a tree (known as the Bodhi tree) when he received enlightenment (bodhi). The oldest plant in the world of known planting date is the Ficus religiosa tree called Sri Maha Bodhi which was planted at the temple at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, in 288 B. C. Today the bo tree is revered as a symbol for prosperity, happiness, good fortune and long life. This information is from www.missouribotanicalgarden.org|