Ginkgo sp. Edit
- Height: About 10-25 blocks
- Time: Middle Permian to Present
- Native biome(s): None (obtain from fossils)
- Edibility of leaves:
- Edible to herbivores
Also known as the maidenhair tree, the Ginkgo comes from an ancient division of plants known as the Ginkgophyta. Fossils of these plants date back at least 270 million years to the Middle Permian. Only one species, Ginkgo biloba, is still around in the 21st century. These slow-growing, extremely long-lived trees are either entirely male or entirely female individuals, and often grow 20 - 35 metres or more in height.
First emerging during the Eocene, G. biloba is endemic to China, particularly in Zhejiang province. The IUCN lists this tree as Endangered, although it is beginning to spread throughout China and other parts of the world due to its popularity as an ornamental tree, a source of traditional medicine, and a renewable source of food.
A fully grown ginkgo tree is a very resilient plant indeed. Some individuals are thought to be over 1500 years old. Six individuals located in Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 not only survived the blast from the atomic bomb, they are all still alive and well today!