Pipal (Ficus religiosa )


Peepal is unrivalled for its antiquity and religious significance. It is a large deciduous tree with a pale stem often appearing fluted on account of the numerous roots which have fused with the stem. Hindus associate the tree with the three gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, Vishnu being reputed to have been born under a Peepul, which is therefore Vishnu himself in the form of a tree.  Leaves leathery 4-8 inches long by 3-5 inches wide, somewhat egg-shaped or rounded, tailed at the tip and heart-shaped at the base, or sometimes rounded. The young leaves are frequently pink, change to copper and finally to green.