biloba is dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female trees.
The female reproductive structure is stalked, with a pair of terminal ovules
(See picture #4). The male microsporangiate strobili are located on the short
stems. Pollination occurs in April, and throughout the summer the pollen maintains
a haustorial relationship with the female gametophyte by nourishing itself off
the nucellar tissue. Maturation of the male and female gametophytes occurs during
the summer, culminating with fertilization in September. Upon ripening of the
fleshy seed coat, the female tree has a distinctive foul odor. Growth and development
of the embryo continues throughout the winter (see picture #5), germinating
the next year in June.
Ginkgo biloba - "A living
biloba also has a unique leaf structure. The leaves are fan-shaped and exhibit
dichotomous venation (See picture #3). The leaves located on short shoots or
on basal regions of the long shoots are entire or divided by a distal notch.
In contrast, leaves on the upper portions of the long stem are divided into
two lobes by a deep notch.
Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as the maidenhair tree, is the only remaining
species within the Phylum Ginkgophyta. Though not found in the wild, this gymnosperm
is widely used as a street or yard tree in areas with a temperate climate. There
are many interesting characteristics of Ginkgo biloba, including specialized
morphological and reproductive traits.
maidenhair tree exhibits a dimorphic shoot structural pattern known as long-shoot,
short-shoot (See picture #1.) The long shoots, which are characterized by widely
separated nodes and leaves, result from a longer period of cell division and
elongation in the apical meristem. The short shoots have a compacted morphology.
The age of the short shoot can be determined by counting the internodes (See