Ber is the fruit of the tree Zizyphus jujube – a small, hardy tree that yields small berry like fruit, called the ber. Not many know that the ber tree or the Jujube tree can grow from just a small root leftover even after it has been cut. Some say, because it is a sturdy plant, but as usual the answer of this trait of it lies in mythology.
In Ramayana, after Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, both Ram and Lakshman were looking for Sita. It was then that they heard a faint voice, calling them and it was none other than an ill-kept Jujube tree. When Ram went to it, the tree, recounted the incident, that when Sita was being taken away, it tried to stop with all its might, but because it had weak branches, all it could manage was to tear off a small piece of cloth from Sita’s sari, which was also a testimony to its effort to stop the kidnapping.
Ram was moved by the gesture and granted it immortality, by saying that henceforth, even if the tree was hacked from its roots, it could grow back to life from a small leftover of the root.
The ber fruit has been again immortalised in the episode of Shabari and her ber, where Shabari would bite a bit from each ber before offering it to Ram, in the later chapters of Ramayana. Many scholars feel that the selection of the ber fruit is kind of odd, as it is not a very popular tree in India, but to put in some logic in the selection of the fruit could be that ber could have been a totem tree of the concerned tribe which Shabari belonged to.