The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Peepul
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|Edition of 1920. See also Sacred fig on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
PEEPUL, PIPUL, PIPPUL, BO-TREE, or SACRED FIG, an East Indian tree (Ficus religiosa) of the order Urticaceæ. It often attains a height of 100 feet, bears heart-shaped leaves with attenuated points which act as drainage for dew in moist tropical forests. The fruits, which are about the size of a gooseberry, are little used for food. The trees are frequently planted around Hindu temples because tradition says that Vishnu was born under one of these trees, hence their sacredness. Buddhists revere this tree. It is a favorite food-plant of the lac insect and is valued on that account also. Its juice is used as bandoline and as a source of caoutchouc As an ornamental tree it is specially attractive because the leaves upon their long slender petioles move with the slightest breeze.