Sacred fig / Peepal tree / Arasu

Ficus religiosa



General Information :

    • Peepal tree  is a deciduous semi - evergreen trees,
    • Bark reddish-brown or yellowish-brown in color.
    • Leaves simple, alternate and glossy dark green in color.
    • Flowers unisexual red in color.
    • Fruit is a capsule orange, pink or dark crimson in color.
    • The tree is considered sacred by the followers of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

    Distribution :

    • widely spread throughout India  

    Habitat : It is found scattered in forests, where it propagates as an epiphyte on other trees especially widely found in uplands and plane area.

    Soil : Deep, alluvial sandy loam with good drainage

    Soil pH : 5.5-6.5

    Altitude :Up to 1520 m (MSL)

    Rainfall :500-5000 mm

    Temperature : 16-35ºC

    Terrain : Plain

    Tree Characteristics :
    • Drought resistant and light demander.

    Habit : Deciduous Tree

    Planting Guidelines

    Natural Regeneration :


    • Naturally regenerates by seeds and root suckers.

    Artificial Regeneration :

    • Propagated by seeds and vegetative cuttings.

    Seed collection and Storage :

    • Fruits are collected and depulped and squeezed in water.
    • The floating seeds are collected and dried on blotting paper in shade.
    • The dried seeds are stored in a clean polybag.

    Seed Treatment :

    • Cold water treatment for 24 hours.

    Nursery Technique :

    • Seeds are broad casted in the mother bed mixed with sand and red earth.
    • watering is done as on when  required
    • germination starts in about 2 weeks.
    • Tow leaf stage individual seedlings could be pricked out into a polybag Shade was provided for at least 1 weak after each transplanting. Seedlings were susceptible to over-watering until the final transplant.

    Plantation technique :

    • Planting out is carried out during July in 30 cm3 pits,
    • Under dry conditions, pit size of 60 cm3 with an interval 5 to 10 m Planting should be carried out after the commencement of monsoon

    Care & Disease Control :


    • Regular weeding and soil working should be taken care.

    Yield :

    • Rotation:10 years

    Agro Forestory :

    • Its large size, wide crown and spreading branches limits it’s agroforestry potential for intercropping with crops , or as a hedgerow planting.

    Major uses :


    • Its leaves are lopped as fodder for elephants, camels, goats and cattle; having about 10-14% crude protein. Silage prepared from the tree is palatable and digestible.
    • It is moderately durable under cover and quite durable under water. It is little used but is occasionally converted into packing cases, cheap boarding, yokes, spoons and bowls

    Other uses :

    Latex or rubber:

    • Bird-lime can be prepared from its milky juice.
    Tannin or dyestuff:
    • Its bark is used in tanning.
    • The ripe fruit is cooling and relieves foul taste, thirst, biliousness, diseases of blood and heart; it is a laxative and helps digestion.
    • It is used for medicinal purposes, such as toothaches.
    • Dried fruit cure asthma; seeds are useful in urinary discharge; young bark is an astringent.

    Carbon stock :

    0.699 tC/tree