Ginkgo biloba, Ginkgo, Bai Guo Ye
back 200 million years, into the age when dinosaurs roamed, this
ancient relic is the oldest living tree species on earth. Traced
to pockets of primitive flora in the northern Zhejiang province
of China, it is known today only in cultivation. Still guarding
temples of old China, some trees are thought to have lived 1000
years! Over 100ft at maturity, ginkgos are characterized by their
parallel-veined, fan-shaped, two-lobed (bilobed), yellow-green leaf
which turns to a vibrant lemon in a sudden burst in autumn. A dioecious
species, meaning male and female flowers are borne on different
plants, males flower in loosely hanging yellow catkins, while females
are known for horrific odor emanating from pulp of decaying fruit.
Grow specs: 100+ ft. 10-15 ft. spacing. Full
sun. Any soil. Stratify seeds for 2 months at 70F followed by 2
months at 40F. Ginkgo has been historically used in China as a pulmonary
astringent for coughs, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and tuberculosis.