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Ginkgo biloba 'Bryson City'

Phonetic Spelling
GING-ko bi-LOW-buh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Ginkgo biloba is a deciduous conifer (a true gymnosperm) that can mature to a whopping 100' tall. A living fossil, it is the only surviving member of a group of ancient plants believed to have inhabited the earth over 150 million years ago. (Is it possible that the vile smell of the fruit attracted dinosaurs to consume and later discharge the berries, helping spread the seeds?) Is it also popular for use in bonsai and can be kept artificially small for centuries.

An upright, columnar, male selection of Ginkgo that has been a proven performer here in North Carolina, ‘Bryson City’ Ginkgo was brought from China and planted in 1941 by Mary Bryson Tipton. Mrs. Tipton, a missionary, was forced to leave when Japan invaded China. Bryson City was named after Mrs. Tipton’s family. The original tree grows in downtown Bryson City.

Ethnobotany:  The extract of the ginkgo leaves has been used pharmaceutically, but mainly used as a memory-enhancer and an anti-vertigo treatment. Gingko nuts are considered to have aphrodisiac qualities.

Seasons of Interest:

      Foliage: Fall, yellow

Wildlife Value:  Ginkgos have no wildlife value.  It is over-planted in today’s cities which decreases wildlife diversity in the urban environment. 

Insects, Diseases and Other Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Can be allergenic; for those sensitive, it produces a skin dermatitis similar to poison ivy. This tree is deer-resistant.

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Ginkgo biloba.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#bonsai#interesting leaves#messy#cpp#malodorous
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#bonsai#interesting leaves#messy#cpp#malodorous
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ginkgo
    Species:
    biloba
    Family:
    Ginkgoaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Play Value:
    Sound
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Shimmer
    Edibility:
    The seed, freed of the outer pulp and washed, is boiled or roasted and eaten and also available in Asian food stores.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 100 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Most of the ornamental ginkgoes in the United States are male as female trees produce a plum-like fruit about an inch in diameter that is attractive, but gives off a vile odor after falling to the ground.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Orange
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant. Ginkgos are dioecious (separate male and female trees). Male plants produce small pollen cones with sporophylls. Female plants produce ovules at the end of a stalk. Fertilization occurs via motile sperm, as in cycads, ferns, mosses and algae
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Smooth
    Soft
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Ginkgos have distinctive two-lobed, somewhat leathery, fan-shaped, rich green leaves with diverging (almost parallel) veins. Leaves turn bright yellow gold in fall. Ginkgo trees are commonly called maidenhair trees in reference to the resemblance of their fan-shaped leaves to maidenhair fern leaflets (pinnae). Ginkgoes have the curious habit, in mid-fall, of dropping all of their leaves virtually at one time, usually following a heavy rainstorm. One autumn day, the bright foliage will be intact on the graceful spire-like tree; then, the next morning, the ground underneath the bare branches will be carpeted with its vivid leaves.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Recreational Play Area
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Pollution
    Salt
    Urban Conditions
    Wind
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Malodorous
    Messy
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN. SKIN IRRITATION MINOR OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES. Irritation of the skin following contact with the juice of the seed pulp; irritation of lips, mouth, and throat and stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea after eating the pulp.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    An alkyl phenol and ginkgolic acid
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Seeds