Ithi is a banyan native in the range from Sri Lanka to India, China, the Malay Archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands, Australia, and New Caledonia. It is an evergreen tree to 15 m or more in height, with a rounded dense crown, smooth gray bark. Ithi was widely distributed as an ornamental plant and is one of the most common street trees in warm climates. Receptacles are edible. The leaves and twigs are lopped for fodder and often grown in the hills for this.
The root, bark and leaf latex are used medicinally to treat wounds, headache and toothache. The bark and leaf latex is taken internally to treat colic and liver trouble.