name = "Ginkgo"
fossil_range = fossil range|199.6|0Jurassiccite book | year=1993 | last=Taylor | first=Thomas N. | coauthors=Edith L. Taylor | title=The Biology and Evolution of Fossil Plants | pages=138, 197 | location=Englewood Cliffs, NJ | publisher=Prentice Hall | isbn=0-13-651589-4 ] to recent

image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Ginkgo adiantoides"
Eocene fossil leaf
Tranquille Shale of British Columbia, Canada.
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Ginkgophyta
classis = Ginkgoopsida
ordo = Ginkgoales
familia = Ginkgoaceae
genus = "Ginkgo"
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision =
* †"Ginkgo adiantoides"
* "Ginkgo biloba"
* †"Ginkgo digitata"
* †"Ginkgo huttonii"
* †"Ginkgo yimaensis"
synonyms="Salisburia" Sm.cite web | url= | title=Genus: "Ginkgo" L. | accessdate=2008-03-26 | work=Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)|publisher=United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area ]

"Ginkgo" is a genus of highly unusual non-flowering plants with one extant species, "G. biloba", which is regarded as a living fossil.


Fossils recognisably related to modern "Ginkgo" date back to the Permian, some 270 million years ago. The genus diversified and spread throughout Laurasia during the middle Jurassic and Cretaceous, but became much rarer thereafter. By the Paleocene, "Ginkgo adiantoides" was the only "Ginkgo" species extant in the Northern Hemisphere with a markedly different (but not well-documented) form persisting in the Southern Hemisphere. At the end of the Pliocene, "Ginkgo" fossils disappeared from the fossil record everywhere apart from a small area of central China where the modern species survived. It is in fact doubtful whether the Northern Hemisphere fossil species of "Ginkgo" can be reliably distinguished; given the slow pace of evolution in the genus, there may have been only 2 in total; what is today called "G. biloba" (including "G. adiantoides"), and "G. gardneri" from the Paleocene of Scotland.

At least morphologically, "G. gardneri" and the Southern Hemisphere species are the only known post-Jurassic taxa that can be unequivocally recognised, the remainder may just as well have simply been ecotypes or subspecies. The implications would be that "G. biloba" had occurred over an extremely wide range, had remarkable genetic flexibility and though evolving genetically never showed much speciation. The occurrence of "G. gardneri", seemingly a Caledonian mountain endemic, and the somewhat greater diversity on the Southern Hemisphere, suggests that old mountain ranges on the Northern Hemisphere could hold other, presently undiscovered, fossil "Ginkgo" species. Since the distribution of "Ginkgo" was already relictual in late prehistoric times, the chances that ancient DNA from subfossils can shed any light on this problem seem remote. While it may seem improbable that a species may exist as a contiguous entity for many millions of years, many of the Ginkgo's life-history parameters fit. These are: extreme longevity; slow reproduction rate; (in Cenozoic and later times) a wide, apparently contiguous, but steadily contracting distribution coupled with, as far as can be demonstrated from the fossil record, extreme ecological conservatism (being restricted to light soils around rivers); and a low population density.

"Ginkgo" has been used for classifying plants with leaves that have more than four veins per segment, while "Baiera" for those with less than four veins per segment. "Sphenobaiera" has been used to classify plants with a broadly wedge-shaped leaf that lacks a distinct leaf stem. "Trichopitys" is distinguished by having multiple-forked leaves with cylindrical (not flattened) thread-like ultimate divisions; it is one of the earliest fossils ascribed to the Ginkgophyta.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ginkgo — Älterer Ginkgobaum (Ginkgo biloba) Systematik Unterabteilung: Samenpflanzen (Spermatophytina) Klasse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ginkgo — [ ʒiŋko ] n. m. • 1846; gingo 1786; mot jap. ♦ Grand arbre originaire d Extrême Orient (ginkgoacées), aux feuilles en éventail, appelé aussi arbre aux écus. ● ginkgo nom masculin (mot japonais) Grand arbre gymnosperme dioïque, qui forme à lui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ginkgo — s.m. (bot.) Arbore străvechi originar din China, cu frunzele în evantai, cultivat ca plantă ornamentală. [< fr. ginkgo < cuv. chinez]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 16.04.2005. Sursa: DN  GÍNKGO s. m. arbore ornamental, falnic, din familia… …   Dicționar Român

  • Ginkgo — Gink go, n.; pl. {Ginkgoes}. [Chin., silver fruit.] (Bot.) A large ornamental tree ({Ginkgo biloba}) from China and Japan, belonging to the Yew suborder of {Conifer[ae]}. Its leaves are so like those of some maidenhair ferns, that it is also… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ginkgo — [giŋ′kō; ] also [ giŋk′gō΄] n. pl. ginkgoes [Jpn ginkyo < Sino Jpn gin, silver + kyō, apricot] an Asiatic tree (Ginkgo biloba) with fan shaped leaves and fleshy, yellow, foul smelling seeds enclosing a silvery, edible inner kernel: the only… …   English World dictionary

  • Ginkgo — Kämpf. (Salisburia Sm., Gingkobaum), Gattung der Koniferen mit der einzigen in China und Japan heimischen, aber dort noch nicht wild gefundenen Art G. biloba L. (S. adiantifolia Sm., s. Tafel »Koniferen I«, Fig. 7), einem über 30 m hohen,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • ginkgo — 1773, from Japanese ginkyo, from Chinese yin hing, from yin silver + hing apricot (Sino Japanese kyo). Introduced to New World 1784 by William Hamilton in his garden near Philadelphia …   Etymology dictionary

  • ginkgo — s. m. Guinkgo biloba. Árbol gimnospermo originario de China y Japón, de hojas caducas en forma de abanico, flores unisexuales y semilla parecida a una drupa …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • ginkgo — (also gingko) ► NOUN (pl. ginkgos or ginkgoes) ▪ a deciduous Chinese tree with fan shaped leaves and yellow flowers. ORIGIN Chinese …   English terms dictionary

  • ginkgo — /ging koh, jing /, n., pl. ginkgoes. a large shade tree, Ginkgo biloba, native to China, having fan shaped leaves and fleshy seeds with edible kernels: the sole surviving species of the gymnosperm family Ginkgoaceae, which thrived in the Jurassic …   Universalium

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