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bo tree

bo tree or pipal pē´pəl [key], fig tree ( Ficus religiosa ) of India held sacred by the Buddhists, who believe that Gautama received enlightenment under a bo tree at Bodh Gaya. A slip of this tree was planted at Anuradhapura to become one of the oldest known trees. The bo tree attains great size and age; the leaves, which hang from long, flexible petioles, rustle in the slightest breeze. Pipal is also spelled peepul or pipul. The bo tree is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Urticales, family Moraceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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