Characteristics of Goolar Fig Tree (Ficus racemosa) in the Wild

Ficus racemosa
Goolar Fig or Indian Fig is a plant species in the Moraceae family. Known by many names in the world, such as Loa, Lo, Elo, Fig Tree, Indian Fig, and Goolar Fig. In Sanskrit, the goolar fig tree is called Uḍumbara, in Arabic Jameez, and Anjire Adamaski in Persian. This tree originated from China, Indian, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia.

In India, trees and fruit are called Goolar. Goolar fruit is a staple food for climbing animals such as monkeys and squirrels. The fruit is also used as food for caterpillars from butterflies in northern Australia.

Like the Bodhi Tree (Ficus religiosa), the goolar fig tree is also respected by Hindus. In addition, this tree is often used as a bonsai subject by bonsai artists in Asia.

RELIGION STORY
In Buddhism, udumbara can also refer to the blue lotus flower (nila-udumbara). Udumbara flowers appear in Chapters 2 and 27 of the Lotus Sutra, a Mahayana Buddhist text.

In Japan, goolar fig referred to as udon-ge (優 曇華) is used by Dōgen Zenji to refer to the udumbara tree flower in chapter 68 of Shōbōgenzō (“Treasury of the True Dharma Eye”). Dōgen places the udon-ge in the context of the Flower Discourse given by Gautama Buddha on the Peak of the Vulture.

Udon-ge is also used to refer to eggs of lacewing insects. The eggs are placed in a pattern similar to flowers and their shapes are used for divination in Asia.

In Theravada Buddhism, the goolar fig tree has been used as a tree to attain enlightenment by the 26th Buddhist Deity, Konaagama.

 

Characteristics of Goolar Fig Leaf

Ficus racemosa Leaf
Source : flickr.com/hisusan2005

The goolar fig leaves are the length of about 10-15 cm and a width of 5-8. There are two types of goolar fig-trees, namely goolar fig that grows naturally in watery soil (Udumbar) and goolar fig that grows in soil (Kathumar).

 

Characteristics of Goolar Fig Fruit

Ficus racemosa Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Dr. Rama Rao Vendrapati

The goolar fig is round like a fig in general and has a sap similar to white milk.

 

Characteristics of Goolar Fig Tree

Ficus racemosa Tree
Source : flickr.com/Chris M Morris

The goolar fig tree is one of many large Ficus families from tropical Asia. This tree can live with long life and can grow in various types of soil, ranging from moist to dry.

In Indonesia this is a common tree that grows on the banks of rivers, the tree can prevent floods and landslides because of its strong and many roots.

 
GOOLAR FIG TREE BENEFITS

The goolar fig bark is said to have healing powers. In India, the bark is rubbed on a rock with water to make a paste that can be applied to help cure ulcers or mosquito bites.

In Indonesia, the lower trunk of a goolar fig tree is joined (Shield budding, also known as T-budding) by a Common Fig Tree (Ficus carica) to accelerate fertilization.

The Ovambo people call the goolar fig by the name eenghwiyu and use it to filter ombike (their traditional liquor).

 

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