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In Bloom

Ginkgo biloba“Naked Ladies”
 
Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo biloba
 

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The Ginkgo tree is a botanical survivor with an ancestral line millions of years old. Often called a living fossil, it resembles no other tree, neither broadleaf or conifer. Its leaves are fan shaped, without a midrib, and with radiating veins similar to those of a maidenhair fern, thus acquiring the name "maidenhair tree." Its origins are believed to be in southeastern China, and old trees are still found around Chinese temples.

A female ginkgo has plum-like fruits that are foul smelling when they drop, as such, the male tree is much preferred and recommended for planting. Alternative medicine enthusiasts claim an extract from the leaves is effective in treating memory loss by improving blood flow to the brain. There are indications that more study is needed for verifying this. G. biloba is also a known blood thinner.

Fossilized parts of ginkgo trees have been found in temperate and polar regions of the world. Ginkgo State Park, in the state of Washington, is a petrified forest of ginkgo trees. In the fall, the leaves turn a brilliant gold, and the trees are prized as street trees from Montreal to New Orleans. "It is paradoxical," according to one botanist, "that one of the most primitive plants on earth can thrive in the most modern of environments."

Profile
Scientific Name Ginkgo biloba
Family Ginkgoaceae
Plant Type Deciduous Tree
Environment Tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions, but does best in full sun and well-drained, slightly acidic soils, but tolerates low light and slightly alkaline soils as well.
Bloom Typically in the Spring, male and female 'flowers' are on separate trees (dioecious)
Uses Effective as a formal planting, a shade tree, a border planting, or a street or parkway tree.
More Info The name 'ginkgo' is probably derived from the Chinese 'yin-kou' (silver fruit)

It is theorized that dinosaurs fed on it as it dates back more than 250 million years

It is the lone genus remaining in the family Ginkgoaceae and Ginkgo biloba is the only species in the genus

First brought to the United States in 1784 in Philadelphia, it was a favorite tree of Architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Location

Ginkgo biloba can be found in the Temperate Asia Garden (Bed 23B) and the Ancient Plant Garden (Bed 68).

Plant Sales at San Francisco Botanical Garden
 

IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Docents Joanne Taylor and Kathy McNeil
Profile Contributor: David Kruse-Pickler, Associate Curator

Additional photos provided by Chuck B. on Flickr

 
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Magnolia dawsoniana

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Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

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Magnolia laevifolia 'Strybing Compact'

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Montanoa spp.

Montanoa spp.

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Bidens sp.

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December

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Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

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Bomarea spp.

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Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale

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Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum

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x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

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Pinus radiata

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Correa spp.

Correa spp.

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Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

January

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Magnolia x soulangeana

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Senecio glastifolius

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Ribes spp.

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Oxalis oregana

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Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora

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Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata

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Passiflora parritae

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Monterey Cypress

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Aloe arborescens

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Aloe plicatilis

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Banksia seminuda

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Magnolia laevifolia

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Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

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Agapanthus

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Brugmansia

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September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

Protea repens

November

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

December

Thujopsis dolabrata

Thujopsis dolabrata

January

Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

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Rojasianthe superba

Rojasianthe superba

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Echium spp.

Echium spp.

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Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

May

Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea

June

Felicia amelloides

Felicia amelloides

July

Ceroxylon quindiuense

Ceroxylon quindiuense

August

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

September

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

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Leptospermum

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Salvia gesneraeflora

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Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

June

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July

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Fuchsia paniculata

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Luma apiculata

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Arbutus unedo

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Restionaceae

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Psoralea pinnata

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Fremontodendron californicum

June

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Leucadendron argenteum

July

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

August

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Gunnera tinctoria

September

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia

October

Fuchsia boliviana

Fuchsia boliviana

November

Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

December

Magnolia campbelli

Magnolia campbelli

January

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Magnolia denudata

February

Camellia

Camellia

March

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

April

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii

May

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

June

Dendromecon harfordii

Dendromecon harfordii

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium purpureum

September

Epilobium canum sp.

Epilobium canum sp.

October

Grevillea spp.

Grevillea spp.

November

Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri

December

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