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!

Ginkgo leaves

Happy Macro Monday, and have a great week!!

Check out other great macro shots at


  1. Oh, the poor male trees in the neighorhood! Now there is a gender imbalance. Seriously? The REAL reason your neighbor complained is because the fruit STINKS! No joke. She was probably sick to death of the messy, stinky fruit. But saying she was worried someone was going to fall in a city-owned parkway tree was a good ruse. :-) That got the city moving fast!

    These are striking trees. You are lucky to have a little fall color--and leaf mess--in Southern California.

  2. I love the shape of the ginkgo leaf-love that last shot, and the tree does have a bright, pretty yellow color in the Fall. You certainly did your research on the ginkgo tree- interesting facts and info - thanks. Have a great week. Mickie

  3. This is the 2nd ginkgo post I've seen today. They have a wonderful shape and the fall color is luminous. What is it about the tree fruit that so animated those visitors?

  4. Hu there - this is getting funny! You post a big spider, and then I do. You post some ginkgo leaves - have a look at my post from 5/23/11!

    Great minds and all that!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

  5. Beautiful pictures...I live in the same city...
    but if I go outside to see my city trees?

    They've just cut them back so they're a striking resemblance to Dr. Seuss trees - anything but strikingly beautiful

    those of us that live in the "low lands" of the city got the cheap trees.

    thanks for posting the ginkgos...very pretty

  6. Love the closeup of the ginko...such pretty leaves!

  7. Ginko trees are so fascinating. I have a shot of them in my Mosaic only the leaves were still green when they fell. Across the street was another tree who's leaves were golden yellow.
    Great shots.

  8. Great info. Interesting and attractive plants but if the fruit doesn't smell too good then a pic is all I need :)

  9. Beautiful presentation of the leaves with great color and light.

    Happy MM

  10. Great shots of a beautiful tree.
    I've never seen a Ginkgo tree.
    Have a nice Tuesday.
    Greetings from Norway

  11. Both great shots! I haven't seen too many Ginkgos, but their smell is definitely what I remember about them too! Picture is much nicer!! =P

  12. Heisann!

    Now we have cold... at last. The weather changed in a day.
    So times for waiting for the sun to turn!
    I enjoy your photos of golden trees ;:OD)

  13. They turn such a gorgeous colour in autumn. I have a very tiny ginko growing in my side yard. I'm looking forward to seeing it when it's bigger. :)

  14. Love the effect you used on these photos. Such a pretty tree! :)

  15. The only gingko trees that I can get close to are still only teenagers, so no indication whether they are boys or girls. I will have to keep an eye on them...