It is a large tree in the banyan group of figs, growing to 30–40 metres (98–131 ft) (rarely up to 60 metres or 200 feet) tall, with a stout trunk up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in diameter. The trunk develops aerial and buttressing roots to anchor it in the soil and help support heavy branches.
It has broad shiny oval leaves 10–35 centimetres (3.9–13.8 in) long and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) broad; leaf size is largest on young plants (occasionally to 45 centimetres or 18 inches long), much smaller on old trees (typically 10 centimetres or 3.9 inches long). The leaves develop inside a sheath at the apical meristem, which grows larger as the new leaf develops. When it is mature, it unfurls and the sheath drops off the plant. Inside the new leaf, another immature leaf is waiting to develop.

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