Terms in this set (76)

Ginkgo, Maidenhair Tree

• Broadleaf deciduous tree, 50+ ft usually pyramidal, excurrent (dominant main leader), but variable.
• Leaves alternate, simple, fan-shaped, 3-7.5 cm long and wide, in clusters of 3-5 per spur or alternate on long shoots.
• Fall color is often bright yellow to gold. Trees often drop a major proportion of their fall foliage over a short period of time, sometimes during a single night. If there is little or no wind, this may result in a carpet of yellow leaves under trees.
• Dioecious - male and female trees; male flowers (sometimes called pollen cones) are 2.5 cm long, catkin-like, with numerous stamens loosely arranged; female flowers are long stalked, 4-5 cm, solitary, with two opposing ovules at the end of the stalk.
• "Fruit" on female plants is actually not a true fruit but a naked seed (gymnosperm = gymno, naked, and sperm, seed) with a fleshy covering, it is plum-shaped (ca. 2.5 cm diam.), green then tan or orange, extremely messy and malodorous when ripe.
• (In their 1954 botany text, Fuller & Tippo indicate that one botanist described the fruit smell in more vernacular terms, i.e., like "raw dog vomit".) Sometimes fruit is set without pollination. It may be twenty or more years before a seedling flowers and sets fruit. Seedless (male) cultivars are commercially available, see below.
• Sun. Transplants easily. Prefers sandy, deep, moderately moist soil but grows in almost any situation. A durable tree for difficult landscape situations, in addition some cultivars can be espaliered or used in bonsai.
• Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native to eastern China, long cultivated.
• Ginkgo: from the Chinese yin-kuo, silver apricot. biloba: two lobed, leaves sometimes incised or divided.