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(gĭng`kō) or

maidenhair tree,

tall, slender, picturesque deciduous tree (Ginkgo biloba) with fan-shaped leaves. The ginkgo is native to E China, where it was revered by Buddhist monks and planted near temples; it is unclear if any truly wild stands still exist. A "living fossil," the ginkgo is the only remaining species of a large order (Ginkgoales) of gymnosperms that existed in the Triassic period. Its form has not changed in millions of years, as is shown by fossils widely scattered over Europe, North and South America, and Asia. The ginkgo is valued today as a street tree, being exceptionally tolerant of smoke, low temperatures, and minimal water supply. Slow growing, the ginkgo is also long-lived. The male and female strobile (see conecone
or strobilus
, in botany, reproductive organ of the gymnosperms (the conifers, cycads, and ginkgoes). Like the flower in the angiosperms (flowering plants), the cone is actually a highly modified branch; unlike the flower, it does not have sepals or petals.
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) are borne on separate trees. The "fruit," botanically a seed, is surrounded by a malodorous pulp, making the male trees more desirable as ornamentals; however, the seed kernel is highly esteemed in East Asia as a food. The herbal remedy ginkgo biloba, an extract of ginkgo leaves, is said to enhance concentration and short-term memory, but the claim has not been verified in controlled studies. The ginkgo is classified in the division PinophytaPinophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called gymnosperms. The gymnosperms, a group that includes the pine, have stems, roots and leaves, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Ginkgoopsida, order Ginkgoales, family Ginkgoaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a deciduous gymnospermous tree of the order Ginkgo. The only modern representative is the Ginkgobiloba. Height, 30-40 m; trunk diameter, 1 m. The tree has a branchy crown and is dioecious. Its leaf has a petiole and is fan-shaped. The seeds are ellipsoid, 2-3 cm long, with fleshy outer shells. The ginkgo is found in a few regions of East Asia. In Europe ginkgos have been grown as decorative trees since 1754. In the USSR, they winter well on the Black Sea coasts of the Caucasus and Ukraine.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A dioecious tree, commonly known as the maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba), that is native to China and is cultivated as a shade tree, it is the only surviving species of the class Ginkgoatae and is considered a living fossil. Also known as gingko tree.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Gingko biloba treated I/R group, attenuation of the degenerative process of the testis to a mild degree of degeneration of the germinal epithelial lining of the seminiferous tubules was observed (Figures 9 and 10).
The present study showed haemorrhage between seminiferous tubules in both ischemia only and I/R groups while these changes were not observed in Gingko biloba treated I/R group, which is in accordance with Unsal et al.
For those wondering how so many scientific studies can be plucked out of the ether, gingko biloba is one of the most widely studied herbs in the world for medicinal purposes, and it was the German pharmaceutical giant Schwabe's patenting in the 1960s of the purified extract EGb-761 that catapulted that research.
Of 25 Gingko biloba products on the market and tested by a major medical journal, only Tebonin, the EGb-761 extract, passed all five of the test requirements.
Gingko Biloba helps to stimulate the brain function, and so recalling events may be made easier with enhanced clarity of thought.
Substances within Gingko Biloba increase blood supply particularly to the brain, enhancing the tissue's use of oxygen and glucose.
Derived from the ginkgo or kew tree, Gingko biloba is the most thoroughly studied and widely used of agents touted to improve cognitive function.
Medical studies show that gingko biloba significantly improves bloodflow to the brain and may even speed recovery from a stroke.
Gingko biloba extract (120 or 160 mg a day) for 24 weeks improves pain-free walking distance by 37 yards when compared with placebo.
b) Extract of Gingko biloba has an anti-inflammatory mechanism that enhances the action of antipsychotics.
Gingko Biloba is recommended for Senile Dementia at a dose of 15 drops in a little water three times daily before meals.
Two-pronged attack from herbs (kelp, gingko biloba, red clover, grapeseed), plus essential fatty acids from evening primrose oil.