noun \ˈgiŋ-(ˌ)kō also ˈgiŋk-(ˌ)gō\

: a large Chinese tree that has fan-shaped leaves

plural ginkgoes or ginkgos also gingkos or gingkoes

Full Definition of GINKGO

:  a gymnospermous dioecious tree (Ginkgo biloba) of eastern China that is widely grown as an ornamental or shade tree and has fan-shaped leaves and foul-smelling yellowish fleshy seed coats —called also maidenhair tree

Variants of GINKGO

gink·go also ging·ko \ˈgiŋ-(ˌ)kō also ˈgiŋk-(ˌ)gō\

Origin of GINKGO

New Latin Ginkgo, from Japanese ginkyō
First Known Use: 1773


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)—Grant Heilman Photography

Tree (Ginkgo biloba, family Ginkgoaceae) that is the only living representative of the gymnosperm order Ginkgoales. Native to China, it is often termed a living fossil because it is unclear whether uncultivated groups can be found in the wild. It has been planted since ancient times in Chinese and Japanese temple gardens and is now valued in many parts of the world as an attractive, fungus- and insect-resistant ornamental tree. It tolerates cold weather and, unlike most gymnosperms, can survive the adverse atmospheric conditions of urban areas. Pyramidal in shape, it has a columnar, sparingly branched trunk. The light-coloured wood, soft and weak, has little economic value. The fan-shaped, leathery leaves, most divided into two lobes by a central notch, resemble the leaflets of the maidenhair fern. The silvery nut, when roasted, is considered a delicacy. Studies have suggested that Ginkgo biloba supplements can enhance memory function in the elderly and delay the onset of Alzheimer disease.


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