The family Ginkgoaceae is the Ginkgo family. It has only one existing species currently, from what was once an ancient and widespread family.
Ginkgo is a gymnosperm with a distinct fan shaped leaf, the only one on all tree lists in Science Olympiad and in commercial field guides.
A nickname for this tree is the "living fossil," because it's genetic makeup is very similar to the trees of its extremely old (nearly extinct) family. Another known nickname of is the "maiden hair tree," which refers to the similarity between the fern (maiden hair) and the leaf of the ginkgo tree.
Related to conifers, a ginkgo produces male and female cones on separate trees for the purpose of reproduction. However, the seeds of female trees are widely spread and smell rather distasteful (described as the same smell as rancid butter).
In common day, this tree has many uses. In cities, ginkgos are planted as ornamental trees due to their hardy resistance to pollution, smoke, dust, ice, wind, insects, and diseases. In addition, the ginkgo seed (also called ginkgo nuts) are eaten by people of the Orient.
Back to Forestry.