Indian Bat Tree
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Indian Bat Tree
E Native Photo: Milind Girdhari
Common name: Indian Bat Tree, Bat fig • Hindi: पिपरी Pipri, Jari, javi, pakri, pipar • Kannada: Bilibasuri, Bilibasari, Bilibasari Mara • Malayalam: Koyali, Chela • Marathi: पिपर Pipar, पिपली Pipli, पिपरी Pipri • Sanskrit: Parkati, Plaksa, Vatiplaksa • Tamil: Chelaikkallichchi • Telugu: Peddajuvvi, Pitta juvvi
Botanical name: Ficus amplissima    Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)
Synonyms: Ficus indica Willd., Ficus pseudotsiela, Ficus tsjela

Indian Bat Tree is a large evergreen or semi-deciduous tree with a widely spreading crown of over 10 m. It can grow up to a height of 25 m in natural conditions and has a moderate to dense spread of aerial roots which are generally wrapped around top of the trunk. It has a trunk diameter of up to 6 ft. The leaves are broadly ovate elliptic-lanceshaped to ovate-oblong in shape with a blunt or pointed tip and an entire margin. They are 5-14 cm long and 2.5-9 cm broad, with a 1.5-5 cm leaf-stalk. The fruits are small stalkless figs 1-1.5 cm in diameter, light green initially, ripening to red or purple. The bark of the trunk is thornless and greenish-gray with a blaze yellow reflection, with a smooth texture. It exudes a milky white latex exudate profusely. Branches and branchlets are round in shape with a hairless or finely velvet-hairy surface covered with annular scars and a pale yellow tinge. Indian Bat Tree is native to India, Maldives, Sri Lanka.

Identification credit: Milind Girdhari Photographed in Maharashtra.

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