Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), also known as the maidenhair tree, is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated, and was cultivated early in human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food. The Ginkgo tree is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree. It features a spreading canopy capable of blocking sunlight and adds visual interest and beauty to landscaping.
- Scientific name: Ginkgo biloba
- Range: native to China, the ginkgo can now be found across the U.S.
- Height: up to 50 feet
- Fruit: oval green, maturing to yellow. Female fruit is foul-smelling.
- Distinguishing feature: fan-shaped leaves
- Medicinal use: extract of ginkgo leaves is used as an herbal remedy
- Fall colors: yellow
If Trees Could Sing…
Click here to see Dan Pinson talk about one of his favorite trees. Video courtesy of The Nature Conservancy and Dan “Danimal” Pinson.