Ginkgo biloba
  • LEAVES: simple, alternate, deciduous; fan-shaped (flabellate), dichotomous veins; with or without narrow apical sinus; yellow in the fall
  • FLOWER: dioecious, male on catkins; both sexes at ends of spur shoots
  • FRUIT: single seeds about 1/2-1" diameter, encased in fleshly outer covering which smells like rancid butter; most urban trees are males
  • TWIGS: stout spur shoots, leaves clustered at ends
  • BARK: gray, ridges
  • FORM: pyramidal crown, often with one or two greatly enlarged branches
  • HABITAT: urban trees
  • RANGE: eastern US; native of China-where it is rare
  • USES: urban street landscaping (usually male trees) because it is tolerant of air pollution and soil compaction; nuts are harvested in China
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. fan-shaped leaves with apical sinus
    2. dichotomous venation
    3. stout spur shoots

    NOTE: the only surviving member of the order; dates from the Mesozoic (150 million years bp); has motile sperm; pollination stimulates fruit production, fertilization occurs after the nut falls from the tree