Maidenhair tree - Ginkgo biloba
One of the most striking trees in the Hortus is the Ginkgo biloba, the Maidenhair tree. Planted in 1785 and has since grown into a huge giant. The tree can grow up to 40 meters high with a circumference of 9 meters. This species is the only living species from the Ginkgoaceae family. Fossils indicate that the family is over 250 million years old. The Maidenhair tree in our garden is one of the oldest outside East Asia. In 1938, the new greenhouse complex was built around this special tree and owes its special shape to this tree. The species is dioecious, which means that the tree is male or female. Our Ginkgo biloba is originally male, but long ago a female branch was grafted onto it, so that the tree now produces seeds every year. These seeds give off a foul odor when they are ripe. Nevertheless, the cores (which fortunately do not smell) are happily eaten in Asia.
Hortus botanicus Leiden
2311 GJ Leiden
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