Bo Tree

Ficus religiosa Moraceae

Other names

Peepul, Sacred Fig

Growth habit



Cultivated as annual

Native distribution

N India to SW China

Biocultural value

Buddha meditated under a sacred bo tree for seven years until he reached enlightenment.


Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant



Deciduous or semi-deciduous tree to 7.5m or more, fast-growing, potentially strangling host trees if beginning life as an epiphyte; branches widely spreading. Twigs slender, initially green, glabrous, ending in buds to 2.5cm long. Leaves aspen-like, entire or slightly wavy-margined, glabrous, to 17 x 12.5cm, thinly coriaceous, symmetric, broadly conical, apex acute, tip markedly acuminate, to 6.2cm, and most distinctive, base broad, rounded or truncate; venation pinnate, with 1-2 pairs of basal veins, the upper spreading widely across leaf base, 8-10 lateral veins on each side (with many more in the acumen), and variously developed secondary venation; petiole green to purple with scarlet flecks, to 1.25cm diameter.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

tender perennial, other ethnobotanical uses