"Ginkgo" in Australia


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Ginkgo in Australia

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The Chinese Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba) is a large tree averaging 20m to 35m in height that is dioecious (having separate male and female plants) with attractive fan-shaped leaves. It is often described as a ‘living fossil’ – meaning that it appears to be the same as a species otherwise known only from fossils, and it has no close living relatives. In fact, there are many Ginkgo species in the fossil record and their leaf shape has not remained constant through time. Nevertheless, Ginkgo biloba is held in special esteem by botanists, since it is the last survivor of a once important group of plants known as the Ginkgophyta, with a world-wide distribution and origins extending back to at least the Permian period over 250 million years ago.

AAOD Journal Issue 8 (2010) – pages 42 to 47 
By Dr Stephen McLoughlin 

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