Krishna Fig
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Krishna Fig
ative Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Krishna Fig, Krishna's butter cup • Hindi: माखन कटोरी Makhan Katori, माखन दोना Makhan dona, कृष्ण बढ़ Krishna badh • Manipuri: ক্ৰিশ্না খোঙনাঙ Krishna Khongnang • Kannada: ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಆಲ Krishna Ala
Botanical name: Ficus krishnae    Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)
Synonyms: Ficus benghalensis var. krishnae

Krishna Fig is a very large, fast growing, evergreen tree up to 30 m tall, with spreading branches and many aerial roots. Leaves stalked, ovate heart-shaped, 3 nerved, when young velvety on both sides. The unique feature of the tree is that the leaves have a pocket-like fold at the base. Leaf stalks with a broad smooth greasy gland at the apex, compressed, downy. The plant is also known as Krishna Butter Cup. As with most things in India, there is a mythological story of Krishna related to the leaves of this tree. The story goes that Lord Krishna was very fond of butter and would even steal it. Once when he was caught by his mother, Yashoda, he tried to hide the butter by rolling it up in a leaf of this tree. Since then, the leaves of these trees have retained this shape.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Bangalore.

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