It’s raining in Shanghai. For days already. I love these balmy summer rains that make everything so nice and green, and take the foul stench of the city out of the air. This is a good time to plant my Ginkgo seeds, which I bought last year in Germany.

The Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba) is not only a beautiful tree, with very characteristic leaves. It is also quite special. You could say it is a living fossil, because it remained practically unchanged for the last 270 million years.

The trees are very robust, and resistant to pollution. That’s why they are planted a lot in cities. And here in Shanghai are a few places where they grow. We also have them in our compound.

A remarkable fact is that after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, 6 Ginkgo trees close to the epicentre actually survived the blast, and are still alive today.

Here a few pictures of beautiful Ginkgo trees:


About Stranded Mariner

Marine Engineer and passionate sailor and cruiser, working in the marine business in China.
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4 Responses to Ginkgo

  1. Barista Uno says:

    Interesting piece. I used to take Gingko Biloba capsules which contain extracts from the roots of this amazing tree. Great fuel for the brain and other organs besides. As far as I know, the tree is native to Indonesia.

    • Yeah, the extract of the leaves is good for the blood circulation, specially where capillary vessels like in the brain are concerned. I am taking the capsules too to ease my tinnitus.

      With an old species like Ginkgo, it is actually hard to say where it originated from. Fact is that the oldest specimens in the wild can be found in China (Zhejiang province) and Japan nowadays. I find it a fascinating and beautiful tree.

      • Grant says:

        I actually have the seconds biggest in my home city of Bathurst, NSW, about 2.5hrs west from Sydney with a population of 40k. The tree is indeed unique with the shape of the leaves. My understanding is you can have male and female tree’s, mine is a female. Apparently in Autum the female variety gets a stench about it which mine does. Ginko is also used to combat alzhiemers, truely a remarkable tree.

        • In the compound where I live there are quite a few. All male trees. They just all turned yellow two weeks ago, and are dropping their leaves now. Last Sunday it was still 20 degrees, today it’s down to 5. Winter came late but fast this year.

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