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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Invigorating ingredients like ginko biloba, horse chestnut and caffeine help your body get rid of toxins Skin Doctors Lipolene, pounds 29.95 This Aussie anti-cellulite system is a thick gel you massage on twice a day to affected areas.
It also has a key ingredient, ginko biloba, which sounds like a character from Lord of The Rings but is a species of tree whose fruit and leaves have been used for many years to fight free radicals.
Other supplements that may help are Siberian ginseng, evening primrose oil and ginko biloba. Get plenty of essential fatty acids by regularly eating fish, vegetable, olive and linseed oils.
One of the oldest living plants on Earth, ginko biloba, has recently been approved in Germany for the treatment of dementia.
Green tea, vitamin A, C and E, B5, ginko biloba and hyaluronic acid: All help to improve skin tonicity, elasticity and moisture level: they fight free radical damage and provide increased antioxidant protection.
Name: Ginko Biloba Occupation: Supposed benefits to circulation and even reported benefits in the treatment of senile dementia.
If everything checks out OK, try some Ginko Biloba, a herbal medicine that improves circulation to the skin.
For example, Revco gives strong merchandising support to such items as ginko biloba, melatonin and DHEA, aggressively promoting them and offering end-cap displays.
For an indulgent overnight treatment, try Sainsbury's Active Natural's Night Cream with Carrot and Ginko Biloba, pounds 3.99.
A combination of both ginko biloba and ginseng is believed to help overall health and performance when taken over a long period of time.
Revco gives aggressive merchandising support to such hot new products as ginko biloba, melatonin and DHEA, often displaying them on end-caps and other promotional vehicles.