The Bodhi tree reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Bodhi tree

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Bodhi
Leaves and trunk of a Bodhi tree. Note the distinctive leaf shapeEnlarge

Leaves and trunk of a Bodhi tree. Note the distinctive leaf shape

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Urticales
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Ficus
Species: \religiosa
Binomial nomenclature
Ficus religiosa L
Ref: ITIS 506545
The Bodhi or Bo or Peepul tree (Ficus religiosa), is a species of fig (family Moraceae) and a sacred tree for Buddhists. The most famous Bodhi tree is located about 100 km (60 miles) from Patna in the Indian state of Bihar, under which Gautama Buddha, spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism, arrived at Bodhi (lit. (supreme) knowledge, enlightenment).

The tree near Patna is a frequent tourist destination for pilgrims since it is next to the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, one of four holy sites to Buddhists. It was while meditating under this tree (mentioned as Assattha in the Tipitaka) that Siddhartha Gautama achieved Nirvana. Therefore, the Bodhi tree or tree of wisdom is considered sacred and symbolic to Buddhists.

The leaves of this tree are somewhat unusual, being cordate in shape with a distinctive extended (or caudate) apex or tip.

See also: List of Buddhist topics