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common name: Maidenhair tree
full sun, part shade
moist soil, clay soil, sandy soil
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -23°C
USDA zone: 6 to 9
This distinctive deciduous tree with an ancient pedigree. It was previously considered to be a type of conifer, and for simplicity is treated as such here, but is now placed in its own plant division, Ginkgophyta.
The crown is usually narrowly conical when young, with rising branches, it later spreads and often forms an irregular outline. Fan shaped mid to pale green leaves, often with a central indentation. They turn butter yellow in autumn. Dioecious species with male and female flowers produced on separate trees. Catkin like, pendulous, yellow male flowers are borne in clusters. The solitary female flowers later produce fleshy yellow-green fruit, which have an unpleasant smell.
Perfectly hardy and suitable for most soils, though thrives best in sandy loam and a sunny position. Reasonably drought tolerant once well established.
Reaches about 3m. in 10 years.
Prune in winter, if required.
From seed, semi-ripe cuttings in summer or by grafting.
Tolerant of industrial areas and is equally good either as a specimen or as an avenue tree.
An extract of the leaves is used as a herbal remedy and tonic. It is used to improve blood flow to the body extremities, improves memory and mental performance and is reputed to assist in the treatment of tinnitus. May be taken as a tea.
This is the sole surviving species of an ancient plant family which was widely distributed in prehistoric times and is therefore of considerable botanical interest. It is probably extinct in the wild but is commonly planted as a sacred tree near Buddist temples of southern China.
pronounced: GINK-go bi-LOW-ba