Ginkgo is a unique species of tree with no close living relatives and is one of the best-known examples of a living fossil dating back 270 million years.
A deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 9 m (29ft) at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.
The seed can be eaten raw (in small quantities), or cooked. A soft and oily texture, the seed has a sweet flavour and tastes somewhat like a large pine nut. The baked seed makes very pleasant eating, it has a taste rather like a cross between potatoes and sweet chestnuts.
Modern-day G. biloba grows best in environments that are well-watered and drained and are not troubled by insects or disease.
There are many cultivars some dwarfing, some having showy yellow autumn leaves and many known male or female forms.