Ginkgo Tree Varieties: Different Types of Biloba Cultivars & Species
Gingko trees have only one major species – Ginkgo Biloba. But, over the years several Biloba cultivars and varieties have been developed and used for their numerous benefits.
Ginkgo Trees are living fossils. They are unique as they survive for around 200 million years. They have fan-shaped, pretty leaves. These trees can be female or male.
Broadly, there is only one specie of the Gingko tree, but botanists have cultivated various types of Ginkgo biloba trees over time.
Primarily they are used as attractive landscape additions, but many even use them as shade trees.
Ginkgo being a deciduous, tall tree usually grows up to 100 feet tall and 40 feet wide. However, there also exist many smaller Ginkgo tree varieties.
Regardless of what you may select, they all have fan-shaped leaves. Many even call them the Maidenhair Trees because of their fan-shaped leaves, which look like the Maidenhair Fern leaflets.
The tree changes its color to vibrant yellow in the fall and performs exceedingly well in urban environments. They need almost negligible care upon maturity and are resistant to pests and diseases.
However, ensure that you plant the trees in well-draining soil and water them regularly for steady, regular growth.
Ginkgo Tree Information and Overview
|Scientific name||Ginkgo Biloba|
|Common names||Gingko, Ginkgo, Maidenhair|
|Leaves||Fan-shaped leaves that change color to yellow during fall|
|Bark||Light grayish brown with irregular ridges|
|Seeds||Seeds from female Ginkgo tree varieties contain Ginkgo toxins. It can be poisonous to dogs.|
|Fruit||Females drop fruits that are the size of a cherry. They have a sickly-smelling, foul smell. To avoid this, pick male species that do not bear fruit.|
|Lifespan||More than 1,000 years, but some forest giants live for as long as 3000 years|
|Growth rate||Ginkgo trees have a medium growth rate. They grow 13 to 24 inches per year.|
|Maintenance||Most varieties do not experience many problems, and the sterile or male cultivators demand minimum maintenance.|
Ginkgo Biloba Tree Varieties
Ginkgo can be male or female. When selecting the variety for your garden, you must know that only the female variants yield fruits. The fruit shows after two decades and is often messy.
Many even call their smell unpleasant. It is the reason that the male varieties are sold commercially in large numbers. Below we will address the top types of Ginkgo trees
A. Princeton Sentry Ginkgo
|Height||40 to 50ft|
|Leaves||Leathery, green leaves|
It is an all-male Ginkgo Tree cultivator with a narrow, upright, canonical crown beautified with green leaves that become yellow during fall. This tree’s foliage persists for several weeks and then drops rapidly.
The tree thrives in free-draining, sandy, moist soil, and full sun. It has a quick growth rate and grows relatively wider and taller than the Fairmont Species. Princeton Sentry will do best in USDA hardiness zones three through eight.
B. Fairmont Ginkgo
It is a columnar variety, implying its growth habit is upright and narrow. This tree is ideal for gardens with compact space and ample vertical room. It is a deciduous conifer with a pyramidal, dense crown, and its horizontal young branches form an upright habit as they grow older.
This beautiful tree is adorned by a distinct fan-shaped canopy and green foliage, which become golden yellow during autumn. Fairmont Ginkgo is a shade tree that thrives in well-draining, medium-moist soil with full sun.
C. Autumn Gold Ginkgo Tree
|Height||30 to 50 feet|
Autumn Gold is a spectacular plant that grows almost equally tall and wide. Thus, it is a beautiful pick when you need a Gingko to make an impact. This all-male Gingko cultivator has a symmetrical, broad-spreading crown.
Like other different types of Ginkgo trees, this plant has fan-shaped leaves, which become golden yellow in fall, and remain so for several weeks. Further in autumn, its foliage drops, forming a beautiful golden carpet enveloping the tree.
It is a slow-growing plant that can work as a brilliant shade tree for your lawn. You can opt for this variety in a garden with ample space because it is a spreading tree.
D. Lacy Ginkgo Tree
|Height||25 to 50 feet|
The Lacy Ginkgo tree gets its name from its fan-shaped leaves. The plant has a textured edge, which resembles lace. This beautiful shade tree thrives in full sun to part shade in well-draining, sandy soil.
E. Weeping Wonder
Also called the Mutant Weeper, the Ginkgo Biloba weeping wonder is an upright, narrow tree with orange-brown twigs and random, dense branches protruding from all directions with a drooping habit.
This small plant has leaves thicker than a typical Ginkgo plant. Its foliage is chartreuse colored and changes color to yellow in fall. Weeping wonder is a unique specimen because its foliage usually has different shapes.
Some of its leaves have a traditional look, while others have a tube-like or filamentous appearance. It is a pollution-resistant tree that thrives in full sun and free-draining soil.
F. Chase Manhattan
It is a shrub-like dwarf Gingko tree with a spreading, upright crown. This low-maintenance plant grows slowly and features emerald green, small, cupped leaves, which grow on closely spaced branches.
Its foliage changes to yellow-gold during fall. This ornamental plant is the perfect fit for a rock garden. Chase Manhattan thrives in free-draining soils and full sun.
G. Ginkgo Biloba ‘Fastigiata’
|Height||30 to 50 feet|
It is one of the Ginkgo Biloba cultivars that has been around for several years now and is one of the first varieties picked for its upright, narrow form and bright, green foliage, which changes color during autumn.
The plant develops into a beautiful, vertical accent, making it the best pick for gardens with limited space. Fastigiata plant though tall is only 10-15 feet wide. The plant thrives in sandy, moist, well-draining soil with full sun.
H. Golden Globe
|Height||40 to 50 feet|
|Leaves||Light to dark green leaves|
It is a beautiful Ginkgo variety with a rounded crown, beautified with green foliage that changes to yellow during fall. Every Golden Globe variety is all-male. Hence, they will not yield flowers.
These are slow-growing (but develop faster than other male cultivators), hardy plants that do best in adequately moist and well-draining soil with full sun.
It thrives in USDA hardiness zones three through eight and has unusually dense branching. The trees have full crowns which form rounded, broad heads.
I. Magyar Ginkgo
Magyar Ginkgo can be a good option if you need one of the fast-growing Ginkgo tree species. It has an upright form and is a strong central leader. It is a male clone that does not yield any smell of fruits and forms broader than columnar-shaped trees.
As it grows older, it grows taller to 50 feet with 30 feet spread. Its narrow shape makes it one of the top selections for street trees. It is an ancient deciduous conifer known to have coexisted with dinosaurs.
Magyar is one of the most pollution-resistant trees that thrive in the city, produces green flowers in the spring, and has a yellow fall color. The plant thrives in free-draining soil with full sun.
J. Menhir Ginkgo
|Leaves||Mid-green or blue-green|
It is a deciduous Ginkgo with a columnar, narrow, compact crown. Native to the Netherlands, this tree is beautiful with its fan-shaped, flat, lobed, mid-green leaves, which become bright yellow during fall.
It is a new, patented variety that yields catkin-like, pendulous clusters of yellow blooms during spring. The plant has ascending branches, making it one of the narrowest varieties. It is a pest and disease-resistant plant that thrives in free-draining soil and full sun.
K. Ginkgo Biloba ‘Majestic Butterfly’
|Leaves||Green, yellow, and white variegation|
It is a deciduous, upright tree with beautifully white, yellow, and green variegation. Its leaves have varying variegation, making it visually appealing.
Founded as the variegated branch mutation, this cultivator has been a favorite of many Ginkgo lovers. The tree retains its variegated coloration across the growing season.
Following this, these Ginkgo tree species change color to yellow during fall. With time, it develops into a small tree with a rounded and beautiful canopy.
Where Do Ginkgo Trees Grow Best?
You can grow different Ginkgo trees in sandy, moist, and acidic soil. They are also a fantastic option for coastal properties. These trees also work well in cities as they are resistant to air pollution.
Related: How Fast Do Ginkgo Trees Grow?
Why Is The Ginkgo Tree So Special?
The Ginkgo tree stands out in various ways. First and foremost is its medicinal value. In fact, you can find ginkgo biloba products online in the form of supplements, tea, and extract that provide multiple health benefits.
Ginkgo Biloba cultivars are also the most attractive and distinct of all deciduous trees with a long lifespan. Their fan-shaped, unique leaves change color to yellow in the fall, a sight to behold. It is not all.
The Ginkgo trees mature well and can thrive in harsh urban conditions like confined spaces, heat, air pollution, and salt.
Ginkgo Trees Medicinal Benefits
Beyond their many ornamental benefits, the different types of Ginkgo trees also find a use for their medicinal properties. It is a popular herb that helps cure illnesses like:
- Memory loss
- SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction
- Cerebral vascular insufficiency
- Cognitive disorders
- Memory Loss
Who Cannot Take Ginkgo Biloba As An Ayurvedic Medicine?
Children, people taking blood thinners, those with epilepsy, and pregnant or lactating women should not take Ginkgo Biloba as an ayurvedic medicine.
Ginkgo Trees’ Environmental Uses
- Ginkgo trees are adaptable to different environmental conditions. They can grow in alkaline, compacted, and acidic soils.
- People usually plant ginkgo in office parks, city parks, and gardens as they offer excellent shade. You can grow them in gardens, rolling lawns, and along streets.
- Unlike the other trees, the Ginkgo trees do not lose their charm even after they grow older. They have a healthy defense system that lasts all their life.
- Ginkgo can be the pick if you want a tree that lasts for generations. These are hardy and long-lived. They usually live a few thousand years.
- They are resistant to insect pests and pathogens.
- They contain a chemical compound that prevents fungi growth and are resistant to viruses and bacteria.
- They can make an unusual bonsai.
- There are multiple cultivators. So, there is a variety for every garden,
Ginkgo Tree Disadvantages
Primarily, there are three lows associated with the ginkgo trees. These include:
- They are slow-growing. So, they grow up to 165 feet high, but very slowly. So, if you need a shade tree that offers shade quickly, Ginkgo might not be the right pick.
- The branches and leaves are not harmful, but the seeds from the female trees have Ginkgo toxic, a chemical concentration that can be bad for pets. If ingested, it can result in seizures, irritability, and vomiting in your furry friends.
- The female Ginkgo Biloba cultivars yield berries that have a pungent, foul odor and are messy when they fall onto the ground.
Ginkgo Trees Buying Guide
There are many online and offline nurseries where you can find Ginkgo trees. However, before selecting, please be careful, and pick a healthy, well-growing species best suited for your growing zone.
Ginkgo Tree Facts and More
Ques 1. What are some of the dwarf Ginkgo varieties?
Ans. Ginkgo Biloba Mariken is one of the popular dwarf Ginkgo tree varieties. It resembles a weeping, wide shrub and grows up to three feet tall and eight feet wide. Jade Butterfly and Jehosephat are two other dwarf Ginkgo trees.
Ques 2. Which are the most popular columnar Ginkgo varieties?
Ans. Some popular columnar Ginkgo varieties include:
- Upright Maidenhair Tree
- Menhir Maidenhair
- Potter Pete Maidenhair
- Fairmount Maidenhair Tree
- Fastigiata Maidenhair Tree
- Princeton Sentry Maidenhair Tree
Ques 3. Is a Ginkgo tree an invasive species?
Ans. Most types of Ginkgo trees do not have invasive roots. Their roots go further downwards instead of spreading. However, if planted five feet from your house or driveway, it will be invasive.