Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba) Pictures and Facts

Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba) Pictures
Ginkgo biloba in Autumn
Picture of a Ginkgo biloba Tree in Autumn.
Picture of a Ginkgo biloba Tree
Picture of a Ginkgo biloba Tree.

Ginkgo biloba is also commonly known in English as gingko and as the Maidenhair Tree. This species is unique in that it has no close living relatives within the plant kingdom. Ginkgo biloba is the only living species left within the Ginkgo Genus, thus making it the only extant (opposite of extinct) species of the Ginkgo Genus.

The species part of the name, "Ginkgo biloba" (specifically the epithet "biloba") is derived from the Latin words "bis" (two) and "loba" (lobed), referring to the two lobed shape of the leaves. This tree was first officially described and named by Linnaeus in 1771, who gave this species it's Latin name.

The Ginkgo biloba tree is widely dispersed around the world and well cultivated, as in many cultures it has uses as a traditional medicine and food source. Ginkgo biloba has long been cultivated in China (it's native area) for medicinal purposes among others. This tree is also widely planted in Korea and parts of Japan, however in both areas some naturalization has occurred producing natural forests from the Ginkgo biloba's seeding habits.

Facts about the Ginkgo biloba species of trees for identification;
  • Species Scientific Name = Ginkgo biloba
  • Species Common Names =
    • Maidenhair Tree
    • Gingko Tree
    • The newer Chinese name is 白果 (bái guǒ), meaning "white fruit".
    • In the Mandarin language it is pronounced as yínguǒ.
    • The older Chinese name is 銀果, meaning "silver fruit".
    • In Chinese and Japanese: 銀杏, (yínxìng), meaning "silver apricot".
    • Pinyin romanization: yín xìng.
    • Hepburn romanization: ichō or ginnan.

In some areas, most intentionally planted Ginkgos are male cultivars grafted onto plants propagated from seed, because the male trees will not produce the malodorous seeds. The popular cultivar 'Autumn Gold' is a clone of a male plant.

Ginkgos adapt well to the urban environment, tolerating pollution and confined soil spaces. They rarely suffer disease problems, even in urban conditions, and are attacked by few insects. For this reason, and for their general beauty, ginkgos are excellent urban and shade trees, and are widely planted along many streets.

Ginkgos are also popular subjects for growing as penjing and bonsai; they can be kept artificially small and tended over centuries. Furthermore, the trees are easy to propagate from seed.