it is said that there are more than 1000 different type of banyan trees. hong kong is a city of banyan. my school kid memory also includes them. every summer, the road leading to my school would be covered by a layer of banyan fruit – i called them banyan beans then, so many of them fell down from the trees, most of them being mashed by passerby. i can vividly remember the soft sponginess stepping on the bean-pasted road, and the hints of grassy mushy fragrance.
today we are still surrounded by chinese banyan, but seldom can i relive this experience, because we are such an efficient and tidy city, all fallen leaves and others usually be swept up.
side-tracked a bit, fuzhou is named as the city of banyan, thanks to an official 1000 years ago who decided to plant the city with banyan. here is a photo of a 500-year old chinese banyan there. (source: gsmm.eco.gov.cn)
在福州五百多歲的細葉榕 · 圖片來源 《中華古樹名木》