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Ginkgo — Fotopedia
Ginkgo leaves in Sheffield Botanical Gardens.
Wikipedia Article
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Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba; in Chinese, Korean and Japanese: 銀杏, pinyin romanization: yín xìng, Revised romanization: "eun haeng", Hepburn romanization: ichō or ginnan, Vietnamese: bạch quả), also spelled gingko and also known as the maidenhair tree, is a unique species of tree with no living relatives. The ginkgo is a living fossil, recognisably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food.


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Ginkgo

Ginkgo is a genus of highly unusual non-flowering plants. The scientific name is also used as the English name. The genus first appeared in the Permian, 250 million years ago, possibly derived from "seed ferns" of the order Peltaspermales. The rate of evolution within the genus has been slow, and almost all its species had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene; the exception is the sole living species, Ginkgo biloba, which is only found in the wild in China, but is cultivated across the world. The relationships between ginkgos and other groups of plants are not fully resolved.


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Ginkgoaceae

The Ginkgoaceae is a family of gymnosperms which appeared during the Mesozoic Era, of which the only extant representative is Ginkgo biloba, which is for this reason sometimes regarded as a living fossil. Formerly, however, there were several other genera, and forests of ginkgo existed. Because leaves can take such diverse forms within a single species, these are a poor measure of diversity, although differing structures of wood point to the existence of diverse ginkgo forests in ancient times.


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