Credit must be given where it’s due. In my case as always, it was nature 🌱
The Great Banyan is located in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah near Calcutta. The Great Banyan Tree draws more visitors to the garden than its entire collection of exotic plants from five continents.
Its trunk was struck by two cyclones (1864 and 1867) so in 1925 the main trunk of the tree was amputated to keep the remainder healthy, which allowed the single tree to grow into a clonal colony. A 330-metre-long (1,080 ft) road was built around the circumference of the colony but the tree continues to grow till date, spreading beyond it.
Botanically, the tree is a native of India. The fruit is like a small fig and is eaten by some people. It tastes sweeter than the fig however. The banyan plant is seen sometimes growing from the little wet dust deposits on buildings because birds carry them around for eating. The fruit is red and when ripe gets softer.
The Great Banyan tree is believed to be at least 250 years old, and has been referenced in many travel books, going back to at least the nineteenth century. Early travel writers found it to be noteworthy due to its large size and its unusually high number of prop-trunks. With its large number of aerial roots, which grow from the branches and run vertically to the ground, The Great Banyan is said to appear more like a dense forest than as an individual tree.
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