Pakur, ficus infectoria

Pakur (ficus infectoria, family: moraceae) is a large and beautiful tree from Fig family with spreading crown. The height and the shape of the tree is very much like its relatives-- Ashoth and Bot. Bark is gray and smooth. Wood is also gray-colored. The large tree is an epiphytic one. The deciduous tree with aerial prop roots is grown on the roadside areas, in parks and the premises of temple and by village huts as shadow tree.


Leaves are dark green, entire, thin, ovate-oblong or slightly heart-shaped, 8-10 cm long and 5-7 cm wide, almost like the leaves of Ashoth, but have not any elongated tail-like part at the tip and also not broad and long than that; petioles 5-7 cm long. The leaves and young shoots contain milky latex. 


Flowers remain inside fruit like all other figs in this family. Fruits called figs grow in cluster on branches. Figs are round. At the end of rainy season, the fruit becomes ripe. 


Needless to say, the fruits are very favorite food to birds. The seeds spread on other trees from the stools of the birds. In this way, the plant grew up on another tree. And in time, they gradually occupied the host tree. 


It lose its leaves at the end of the spring. Young leaves are very spectacular, colorful, usually copper-colored, smooth and shiny.


Its bark and leaves is used as medicine in various types of diseases. Bark yields a a kind of fibre that is very useful. Wood is used for firewood somewhere.   


Emperor Ashok and Sher Shah was a devotee of the tree. This is mentioned in the Indian ancient texts, including the epic Mahabharata. It is found everywhere in Bangladesh. South and South-east Asia are the home of the giant tree.