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Female Ginkgo Tree

3973 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  bot
Just realized that the Ginkgo tree next door has finished blooming and fruit has set. Have never noticed when this tree blooms. The tree is huge and has a lot fruit. Tree must be several hundred years old.

Have looked up the tree and fruit but I cannot find anything about the tree as a nectar or pollen source.

Anyone know?
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I've heard that not many people plant female ginkos b/c their fruit is really stinky. Never actually seen one, just remembered that from a biology class.
I have never noticed an odor from the tree. They do become messy as described on some websites. I am from SC and worked at the federal building very close to the Goveror's Mansion. There were a lot of these female Ginkgo trees on some of the side walks. As described, they made for a messy sidewalk.

But I saw an oriental lady that would come by in the fall and pick up the fruit as they fell from the trees. Guess she was getting them before they got really rank. Don't know what she was doing with them. Again, I don't remember an odor though I am sure they did stink.
Ginkgo's smelly fruit is edible and the tree is long lived

The smell and the tree: the ripe fruit of the female ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba). It was pungent; for me, a cross between a rotten apricot and vomit.

The ginkgo nut is edible: “both a prized delicacy and an invaluable food for long life…throughout Asia” according to the New England Ecology Garden.
Gingko are very old beasties pre-dating flowering plants and ignorant of pollination contracts (the kind between insects and plants) They are gymnosperms (but not conifers) and pollinate more like ferns than flowers. The ovules (female "flowers") and cones are not very conspicuous. Pollen are produced by the catkin-like cones which are captured by the ovule on a drop of liquid. They later hatch into motile sperm which fertilizes the egg about the time the seeds drop in the fall.

The stink is butyric acid. Like Bee-go

I suspect bees wouldn't have much interest in them, but you never know.
My father has one in his yard, but It hasn't matured yet. It's about 40 years old.

-John McNeil
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