The Wedded Banian Tree, or the Palmyra and Burr Tree United. Drawn on Salsette
Artist: Forbes, James
Plate sixty-five from the second volume of James Forbes' "Oriental Memoirs". Besides Bharuch and Dhaboi, Forbes(1749-1819) was also made Collector of Revenue of the Bhaderpoor district in Gujarat. It was here that he came across the 'wedded-banyan'. In his words:'This tree is so called in Hindostan, where the seed of the Palmyra (Borrassus Flabelliformia) has been dropped by a bird, or scattered by the wind into the decaying trunk of a burr, or banian tree (Ficus Indica). The trees thus united form a peculiar contrast especially when the Palmyra soars loftily above the spreading branches and picturesque trunks of the burr. The trees from which this drawing was made grew near the bottom of the excavated mountains in the island of Salsette; and were much frequented by the Baya, or bottle-nested sparrow.'