*Ginkgo

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*Ginkgo biloba
GINKGO
Ginkgoaceae
China

Location: map coordinates K-33 (southeast of Mishoe Science Building), N 39°11'9'' W 75°32'26''; and
T-17 (east of Loockerman Hall), N 39°11'6'' W 75°32'40''

Planting history: K-33: planting history presently unknown.
T-17: planted 5/6/10. Source: Willey Farms, DE. (Dr. S. Yost, USDA NIFA Capacity Building Grant funds).

Description:
  • large deciduous tree
  • Ginkgo from Chinese Ginkyo for silver apricot; biloba = 2-lobed (referring to some of the leaves)
  • also called maidenhair tree (from similarity of leaves to those of maidenhair fern, Adiantum)
  • gymnosperm (non-flowering seed plant); more closely related to pines than to our other broad-leaved trees which are mostly angiosperms (flowering plants)
  • “living fossil”; nearly identical to trees living ca 200 million years ago; the only surviving species in its family and order
  • probably extinct in the wild; originally propagated from trees growing around Chinese monasteries
  • oldest living tree probably well over 1,000 years old
  • leaf with distinctive fan shape, golden-yellow color in fall; leaves of long shoots usually 2-lobed (hence the specific epithet “biloba”)
  • dioecious (separate male and female trees); males with small green microsporangiate strobili producing pollen and swimming sperm; females with 2 naked ovules on a stem
  • seed fruit-like; with fleshy, bad-smelling outer coat (butyric acid); produced only on female trees
  • inner seed is edible, when roasted; in moderate quantities
  • leaf extract used as herbal remedy for mild memory loss (opens blood vessels, improves blood flow); also antioxidant

*Non-native species (not native to Delaware)

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    There are 2 labeled ginkgo trees.
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