Ginkgos

Ginkgobiloba_ginsnob_BYSA2
Ginkgo biloba (CC BY 2.0) Chris Palmer/ flickr.com

Scientific Name: Ginkgoales

Status: Extant (alive today)

Oldest fossil anywhere: Jurassic of China (about 195 million years old)

Oklahoma fossil record: There are no reported macrofossils of Ginkgo from Oklahoma.

Ginkgos are seed plants that are represented by only one living species—Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair Tree)—and is found in the wild only in Asia. However, there are many extinct species that lived across the world. Today, Ginkgo biloba has been widely planted in cities all over the world because it tolerates smog and salt-spray (from icy roads).

Although Ginkgo biloba produces seeds with an outer fleshy layer similar to what we call fruits from flowering plants, Ginkgo is not related to flowering plants and may be closer to conifers. A living Ginkgo may reach 100 feet (30 meters) tall.