The splendid banyan trees ns met today in a park in Honolulu, Hawaii motivated me come share some points I learned when researching my brand-new book around how fig trees have shaped our world, influenced society and can help us defend life ~ above Earth.

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Here are ten nuggets:

The banyan (Ficus benghalensis) is one of much more than 750 varieties of fig trees, every of i beg your pardon is pollinated just by the own types of small wasps the breed only inside the figs of their partner trees.Banyans space strangler figs. They prosper from seeds that soil on various other trees. The roots they send down smother their hosts and grow right into stout, branch-supporting pillars that resemble new tree trunks.Banyans space the world’s best trees in regards to the area they cover. The biggest one alive this particular day is in the Indian state that Andhra Pradesh. The covers 1.9 hectares (4.7 acres) and can shelter 20,000 people.Banyans are ecological linchpins. They produce huge crops of figs that sustain many species of birds, fruit bats, primates and also other creatures, which subsequently disperse the seeds of thousands of other plant species.The very first Europeans to conference banyan trees to be Alexander the an excellent and his army, who reached India in 326 BCE. The note they took earlier to Greece notified Theophrastus, the founder of modern-day botany, and — ultimately — led 17th-century English poet man Milton to compose in Paradise Lost the Adam and also Eve make the very first clothes native banyan leaves.Hindus say a banyan tree at Jyotisar is the one Krishna stood beneath when he delivered the sermon that the Bhagavad Gita.For hundreds of years, world have offered banyans as sources of medicines. Today in Nepal, human being use banyan leaves, bark and roots come treat an ext than twenty disorders.Hindu texts written more than 2500 years ago describe a cosmic ‘world tree’, a banyan farming upside-down v its roots in the heavens. That trunk and branches extend to earth to lug blessings come humanity.During India’s struggle for independence from Britain, the brothers hanged thousands of rebels to your deaths native banyan trees. Live independence India do the banyan its national tree.Hawaii’s banyans room not native. Civilization who have planted them there include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Amelia Earhart and Louis Armstrong.

Across the world, the banyans and also many various other fig varieties have installed themselves in diverse human cultures, thanks to some remarkable biology and an 80-million-year-old partnership with your pollinating wasps. Together my publication shows, these trees influenced the breakthrough of our types and have the right to enrich our future too, by helping united state to regain damaged rainforests and protect threatened wildlife. The book was published in the UK as Ladders come Heaven, and also in the US and also Canada together Gods, Wasps and also Stranglers.

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Readers in India have the right to buy it here.

I’ll be composing a rigid article around banyans shortly (update: right here it is). Meanwhile, I will leave you v some more photos of the banyans I saw this morning. Aloha!