Ficus benjamina L., Mant. (1767)

Named after the sanskrit name 'bani' or banian tree.

Ficus benjamina forma warringiana M.F.Barrett
Ficus benjamina var. bracteata Corner
Ficus benjamina var. comosa (Roxb.) Kurz
Ficus benjamina var. haematocarpa (Blume ex Decne.) Miq.
Ficus benjamina var. lehuntei F.M.Bailey
Ficus benjamina var. nuda (Miq.) M.F.Barrett
Ficus benjamina subsp. comosa (Roxb.) Panigrahi & Murti
Ficus comosa Roxb.
Ficus cuspidatocaudata Hayata
Ficus dictyophylla Wall. [Invalid]
Ficus haematocarpa Blume ex Decne.
Ficus lucida Aiton
Ficus neglecta Blume ex Decne.
Ficus nepalensis Blanco
Ficus nitida Thunb.
Ficus notobor Buch.-Ham. ex Wall. [Invalid]
Ficus nuda (Miq.) Miq.
Ficus papyrifera Griff.
Ficus parvifolia Oken
Ficus pendula Link
Ficus pyrifolia Salisb.
Ficus reclinata Desf.
Ficus retusa var. nitida (Thunb.) Miq.
Ficus striata Roth
Ficus umbrina Elmer
Ficus xavieri Merr.
Itty-alu Rheede
Urostigma benjaminum (L.) Miq.
Urostigma benjaminum var. nudum Miq.
Urostigma haematocarpa (Blume ex Decne.) Miq.
Urostigma neglectum (Blume ex Decne.) Miq.
Urostigma nudum Miq.

Mid-canopy tree (strangling fig) up to 31 m tall and 61 cm dbh. Stem with white sap. Stipules ca. 10 mm long, glabrous. Leaves alternate, simple, penni-veined, venation very close together, glabrous. Fruits ca. 9 mm diameter, yellow-orange, globose, fleshy figs.

Monoecious tree or strangler, up to 31 m tall, 61 cm diameter, with few free hanging aerial roots and drooping branches. Bark light grey. All parts glabrous. Twigs up to 0.2 cm thick, dark brown, reddish brown when young, angled. Stipules paired, broadly lanceolate, acute, c. 1 cm long, caducous. Leaves distichous, thin-coriaceous, withering yellow; elliptic to ovate-lanceolate, 4-8 x 1.8-3.8 cm, base cuneate, margin entire, plane, apex acute; midrib raised above, drying yellowish on both surfaces; lateral veins numerous, closely spaced, almost parallel, visible on both surfaces, joining near the leaf margin to form distinct intramarginal vein, basal pair short; intercostal venation reticulate, equally prominent as lateral veins; petiole 0.5-1.5 cm long, wrinkled and yellowish on drying. Syconia axillary, paired, sessile, ripening orange-yellow, globose, c. 0.8 cm diameter, apex flat, drying pale yellowish with rugose surface; basal bracts 2- 3, 0.5-1.5 mm long, concealed beneath the syconia; ostiole covered by 3 small apical bracts; internal bristles none. Tepals 3-4, free. Achenes ovoid to reniform, longer than the style. [from Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak]

In undisturbed to slightly disturbed mixed dipterocarp forests up to 700 m altitude. Mostly along rivers and streams with sandy to limestone soils.

Often planted as an ornamental or shade tree. The fruit is edible, but the plant is not usually grown for its fruit. The miniature cultivars, especially 'Too Little', are among the most popular plants for indoor bonsai.

From India and southern China to New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and northern Australia.

Local names
Borneo: Ara, Beringin, Dunuk, Waringin.
English: Benjamin's fig, Weeping fig.