Ginkgo, Maidenhair Tree
A large tree to more than 40 m (130 ft.) tall, native to China, with unique fan-shaped, bilobed, bright green leaves that have many parallel veins. They turn beautifully yellow in fall and are deciduous in winter. Ginkgo is a living fossil that has not changed very much since the lower Jurassic, 175+ million years ago, and its relatives date back to the Permian, 270 million years ago. It has no close relatives among living plants but is placed within the gymnosperms and near the cycads. The seeds are popular in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Ginkgo also has a number of medicinal uses. It is an easy to grow plant and a popular ornamental for temperate climates in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.