Dahouzhai Ancient Banyan Trees in Yunxian County, Lincang


Dahouzhai Ancient Tree is the center of the banyan tree group,which is located in front of the city’s public security bureau and west. The tree species belongs to the alpine figs of the family Moraceae. The height of four trees is about 20 meters, and the largest tree has a circumference of 8 meters and a crown of thousands of square meters. Among them, a tree known as the “Divine Tree” has been around for nearly a thousand years. Is the county’s few natural and historical heritage. In 1983 was announced as the county-level cultural relics conservation unit.

Characteristics of Banyan Trees


1. Like other fig species, including the common edible fig Ficus carica, banyans bear multiple fruit in structures denominated “syncarps”. The syncarp of Ficus species supplies shelter and food for fig wasps and, in turn, the trees are totally dependent on the fig wasps for pollination.
2. Frugivore birds disperse the seeds of banyans. The seeds are small, and because most banyans grow in woodlands, a seedling that germinates on the ground is unlikely to survive. However, many seeds fall on the branches and stems of other trees or on human edifices, and when they germinate they grow roots down toward the ground and consequently may envelop part of the host tree or edifice. For this reason banyans bear the colloquial name “strangler fig”. A number of tropical banyan species that compete for sunlight, especially of the genus Ficus, exhibit this strangling habit.
3. The leaves of the banyan tree are large, leathery, glossy, green, and elliptical. Like most figs, the leaf bud is covered by two large scales. As the leaf develops the scales abscise. Young leaves have an attractive reddish tinge.
4. Older banyan trees are characterized by aerial prop roots that mature into thick, woody trunks, which can become indistinguishable from the primary trunk with age. Old trees can spread laterally by using these prop roots to grow over a wide area. In some species, the prop roots develop over a considerable area that resembles a grove of trees, with every trunk connected directly or indirectly to the primary trunk. The topology of this massive root system inspired the name of the hierarchical computer network operating system “Banyan VINES”.


The name was originally given to F. benghalensis and comes from India, where early travellers observed that the shade of the tree was frequented by Banyans (a corruption of Baniyas, a community of Indian traders).
In the Gujarati language, banya means “grocer or merchant”, not “tree”. The Portuguese picked up the word to refer specifically to Hindu merchants, and passed it along to the English as early as 1599 with the same meaning. By 1634, English writers began to tell of the banyan tree, a tree under which Hindu merchants conducted their business. The tree provided a shaded place for a village meeting or for merchants to sell their goods. Eventually, “banyan” became the name of the tree itself.



The original banyan, F. benghalensis, can grow into a giant tree covering several hectares. Over time, the name became generalized to all strangler figs of the Urostigma subgenus.

The many banyan species include:
1. Ficus microcarpa, which is native to Sri Lanka, China, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Taiwan, the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, Australia, Ryukyu Islands and New Caledonia, is a significant invasive species elsewhere.
2. The Central American banyan (Ficus pertusa) is native to Central America and northern South America, from southern Mexico south to Paraguay.
3. The shortleaf fig (Ficus citrifolia) is native to southern Florida, the Caribbean Islands, Central America, and South America south to Paraguay. One theory is that the Portuguese name for F. citrofolia, os barbados, gave Barbados its name.
4. The Florida strangler fig (Ficus aurea) is also native to southern Florida and the Caribbean Islands, and distinguished from the above by its coarser leaf venation.
5. The Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla) and Port Jackson fig (Ficus rubiginosa) are other related species.

In Horticulture

Due to the complex structure of the roots and extensive branching, the banyan is used as a subject specimen in penjing and bonsai. The oldest, living bonsai in Taiwan is a 240-year-old banyan tree housed in Tainan.

How to Get there? 

Here are two bus terminals in Yunxian County by which you can get to or leave Yunxian county.

1. By Long-distance Bus

Yunxian County Bus terminal (云县客运站)
Address: Aihua town of Yunxian County in Lincang(临沧市云县爱华镇)
Tel: 0883-3221333

Xingfu Bus terminal(幸福客运站)
Address: Xingfu Village, Xingfu Town, Yunxian County(临沧市云县幸福镇幸福村)
Tel: 0883-3833226

2. By Air

In addition, people from other provinces or countries can take plane to Lincang, and then go to Yunxian County by Long-distance bus.

Travel Tips:

1. To visit the ancient trees of Dahouzhai, we should have some understanding of the general situation of the ancient trees cluster of Dahouzhai. If you go on a tour with a tour group, the tour guide will explain to the tourists the humanistic geography of the ancient trees of the Dahouzhai village.
2. If it’s a self-help tour, you can go to the recommend scenic spots nearby.
3. Visitors can use photos to record the pleasure of playing in the Dahouzhai Ancient Trees.