Ginkgo Biloba Picture Gallery - A Gallery of Maidenhair and Ginkgo Pictures

01
of 09

Ginkgo Fossil - British Columbia, Canada

Ginkgo Fossil - British Columbia, Canada
Ginkgo Fossil - British Columbia, Canada. Public Domain

Ginkgo biloba is known as a "living fossil tree". It is a mysterious tree old species and highlighted in this ginkgo picture gallery. The ginkgo tree's genetic line spans the Mesozoic era back to the Triassic period. Closely related species are thought to have existed for over 200 million years.

Also known as maidenhair-tree, the leaf shape and other vegetative organs are identical to fossils found in the United States, Europe and Greenland. The contemporary ginkgo is cultivated and does not exist anywhere in the wild state. Scientists think that native ginkgo was destroyed by glaciers that ultimately covered the whole Northern Hemisphere. Ancient Chinese records are surprisingly complete and describe the tree as ya-chio-tu , meaning a tree with leaves like a duck's foot.

Ginkgo is called a "living fossil tree". It's genetic line spans the Mesozoic era back to the Triassic. Relatives have existed for over 200 million years.

Also known as maidenhair-tree, Ginkgo biloba's leaf shape and other vegetative organs are identical to fossils found in the United States, Europe and Greenland. The contemporary ginkgo is cultivated and does not exist anywhere in the wild state. Scientists think that native ginkgo was destroyed by glaciers that ultimately covered the whole Northern Hemisphere.

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02
of 09

An Old Ginkgo

Moses Cone Ginkgo
Moses Cone's Historic Home Moses Cone Ginkgo. Steve Nix

The name "maidenhair tree" comes from the ginkgo leaf's resemblance to maidenhair fern foliage.

Ginkgo biloba was first brought into the United States by William Hamilton for his garden in Philadelphia in 1784. It was a favorite tree of Architect Frank Lloyd Wright and made its way into city landscapes across North America. The tree had an ability to survive pests, drought, storms, ice, city soils, and was widely planted.

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03
of 09

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Leaf
Ginkgo Leaf. Dendrology at Virginia Tech

The Ginkgo leaf is fan-shaped and often compared to a "duck foot". It is about 3 inches across with a notch dividing into 2 lobes (thus biloba). Numerous veins radiate out of the base with no midrib. The leaf has a beautiful fall yellow color.

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04
of 09

Planting Range of Ginkgo

The Planting Range of Ginkgo Biloba
The Planting Range of Ginkgo Biloba. USFS Illustration

Ginkgo biloba is not native to North America. Still, it transpants well and has a large planting range.

Ginkgo may grow extremely slow for several years after planting, but will then pick up and grow at a moderate rate, particularly if it receives an adequate supply of water and some fertilizer. But do not overwater or plant in a poorly-drained area.

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05
of 09

Ginkgo Leaves

Ginkgo Leaves
Ginkgo Leaves. GFDL Permission Granted for Use - Reinhard Kraasch

Ancient Chinese records are surprisingly complete and describe the tree as ya-chio-tu , meaning a tree with leaves like a duck's foot. Asian people systematically planted the tree and many living ginkgoes are known to be more than 5 centuries old. Buddhists not only kept written records but revered the tree and preserved it in temple gardens. Western collectors eventually imported ginkgoes to Europe and later to North America.

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06
of 09

Ginkgo Fruit

Ginkgo Fruit
Stinky Fruit Ginkgo Fruit. GFDL Permission Granted by Kurt Stueber

The ginkgo is dioecious. That simply means that there are separate male and female plants. Only the female plant produces fruit. The fruit stinks!

As you can imagine, the smell's description ranges from "rancid butter" to "vomit". This foul smell has limited ginkgo's popularity while also causing city governments to actually remove the tree and ban the female from being planted. Male ginkgoes do not produce a fruit and are selected as the main cultivars used to transplant in urban communities.

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07
of 09

Male Ginkgo

Male Ginkgo
Male Ginkgo. GFDL Permission Granted for Use

You need to plant only the male cultivars. There are excellent varieties available.

There are several cultivars: Autumn Gold- male, fruitless, bright gold fall color and rapid growth rate; Fairmont - male, fruitless, upright, oval to pyramidal form; Fastigiata - male, fruitless, upright growth; Laciniata - leaf margins deeply divided; Lakeview - male, fruitless, compact broad conical form; Mayfield - male, upright fastigiate (columnar) growth; Pendula - pendent branches; Princeton Sentry - male, fruitless, fastigiate, narrow conical crown for restricted overhead spaces, popular, 65 feet tall, available in some nurseries; Santa Cruz - umbrella-shaped, Variegata - variegated leaves.

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08
of 09

Moses Cone Ginkgo

Moses Cone Ginkgo
Moses Cone Ginkgo. Steve Nix
09
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Silhouette of Ginkgo Leaf

Silhouettes Ginkgo Leaf
Silhouettes Ginkgo Leaf. Stephen G. Saupe