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Scientific classification
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Urticales
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Ficus
Species: benghalensis
Binomial nomenclature
Ficus benghalensis
Ref: ITIS 506543 (http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=506543)

The Indian Banyan tree is a kind of fig which can grow into giant trees covering several hectares. It is originally from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but has been imported in other regions as well. The first banyan tree in the USA was planted by Thomas Alva Edison in Fort Myers, Florida.

The banyan starts as an epiphyte on another tree, where a fig-eating bird had deposited the seed. It developes aerial roots from the branches, which grow into full stems once they touch the ground. This allows the tree to spread into a big area, the biggest banyan tree in Poona[?], India is said to measure half a mile around its perimeter.

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