Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba; in Chinese and Japanese , pinyin romanization: yn xng, Hepburn romanization: ich or ginnan), also spelled gingko and known as the maidenhair tree, is a unique species of tree with no close living relatives. The ginkgo is a living fossil, as a unique species recognisably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and introduced early in human history, and has various uses as a food and in traditional medicine. Ginkgos are large trees, normally reaching a height of 2035 m (66115 feet), with some specimens in China being over 50 m (164 feet). The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall, sometimes within a short space of time (one to 15 days).
Contributions by MPF, 126.96.36.199, and Curtis Clark.