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Ginkgo (1)

References: The National Arbor Day Foundation

Signs Designed by Amanda Parsons, Natural Resources and Recreation Management student.

GinkoGinkgo or Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba)

The Ginkgo tree has fan shaped leaves and can grow up to 70 feet high. It is very attractive for landscapes. It is a native of China and was brought to the United States around the late 1700’s. This tree is considered a living fossil by the Arbor Day foundation because the earliest fossils of the species that have been found are about 270 million years old.

The fruit of the Ginkgo tree is listed as poisonous by NC State even though it is eaten in Asia. It causes irritation to the mouth, lips, and throat. In order to eat the seed it must be freed from the pulp that surrounds it. It can then be boiled and roasted.

The Ginkgo tree is one of the few trees that can be either male or female. The male tree produces pollen cones and the female produces fruit. After the cone pollinates the fruit, they become seeds. This fruit is foul smelling and therefore, most people only plant the male trees around their yards.

The Ginkgo tree is said to have medicinal properties. It can aid in memory and is used to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is also said to help aid in other diseases such as multiple sclerosis. This is a tree unlike any other and a wonderful addition to campus life.