A photoblog with an emphasis on desert photography. Thanks for visiting!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Autumn Gold: Ginkgo biloba
Here in S. CA we don't get much of a fall...certainly not compared to colder climes. But the Ginkgo trees on our street turn a bright yellow this time of year before losing their leaves, which provides a nice fall feel. Also, Ginkgo are really interesting from a botany perspective. They are described as a 'living fossil' because there are no closely related living species. The trees have separate sexes; there are male trees and female trees (seriously!). The fruit and seeds from female trees are particularly esteemed in Asia. Seeds are used to make a dish called congee. Ginkgo nut dishes are served at special occasions such as weddings and the Chinese New Year (as part of a dish called 'Buddha's delight'). Ginkgo is also used for medicinal purposes, such as memory enhancement (although the data is conflicting on this). Funny story: My neighbor had a female tree in her front yard that would produce fruit every year. Koreans in our neighborhood would shake the tree, climb the tree, and generally do some crazy things to get at the fruit (making a mess in the process). My neighbor complained so much that the city dug out the female tree, which was the only one on our entire street, and planted a male!