Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo

Ginkgo

Description: Ginkgo biloba is a large, deciduous tree which has a narrow habit and grows up to 30m. Often referred to as a living fossil, it dates back 270 million years and surprisingly is a conifer. The unusual fan shaped foliage of Ginkgo biloba is light-green, turning bright, clear yellow in the autumn. The leaves are often split in the centre into two lobes. Each tree has either male or female flowers, the small yellow flowers mature to drupe-like, light yellow decaying to purplish-black fruits that give off an unpleasant pungent smell when crushed.

History: According to ancient Chinese texts, the original home of the Ginkgo lay in what are now the provinces of Anhwei and Kiangsu, and still apparently occurs in the wild. Maidenhair trees were then introduced to Japan about 1,000 years ago and often grown near temples. The first maidenhair tree was brought to Britain and planted in Kew Gardens in 1760. It still stands today. Did you know… when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, six Ginkgo trees growing within 2km survived. Although slightly burnt, they recovered quite quickly and are still alive today.

Ginkgo Growing Tips: Grow in well-drained soil with a full sun position.

Height and Spread (after 20 years): 10m x 4m

Attributes

  • Tree shape: Standard
  • Do not prune
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • M Size: Medium
  • Interesting foliage
  • Needs well-draining site
  • Open space planting

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Ginkgo biloba ‘Fastigiata’

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Columnar, flat, fan-shaped leaves on semi-erect branches. Small, catkin-like, greenish-yellow male flowers in spring.

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Ginkgo biloba ‘Saratoga’

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A male form making a compact tree with excellent yellow autumn colour.

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Ginkgo biloba ‘Pendula’

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A broadly weeping form, producing wide arching branches.

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Ginkgo biloba ‘Mariken’

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A dwarf, low-spreading form that grows very slowly. Small green leaves which turn a golden yellow in autumn.

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