BANYAN TREE (Ficus indica, Linn., Urostigma benghalense, Gaspar.) is a native of several parts of the East Indies and Ceylon. It has a woody stem, branching to a great height and vast extent, with heart-shaped entire leaves terminating in acute points. Every branch from the main body throws out its own roots, at first in small tender fibres, several yards from the ground ; but these continually grow thicker until they reach the surface, when they strike in, increase to large trunks, and become parent trees, shooting out new branches from the top, which again in time suspend their roots, and these, swelling into trunks, produce other branches, the growth continuing as long as the earth contributes her sustenance. On the banks of the Nerbudda, according to Forbes's Oriental Memories, stands a celebrated tree of this kind, which is supposed to be that described by Nearchus the admiral of Alexander the Great. This tree once covered an area so immense, that it has been known to shelter no fewer than 7000 men. Though now much reduced in size by the destructive power of the floods, the remainder is still nearly 2000 feet in circumference, and the trunks large and small exceed 3000 in number.