Posted: 05/12/2011 at 12:14
Yes, Emma, they made such a mess on the sidewalks in Florida they were replaced by American Oaks, but the ones sold by nurseries nowadays are usually male so no trouble with the fruits. The young tree we have at the Bristol Botanic Garden also has much bigger leaves than the old one so new varieties are on sale too.
They are a delicacy to some Chinese so their common name is the Chinese Apricot and the Japanese roast and salt the seeds like we do peanuts and serve them in bars as a preventative for hangovers.
The gingko is used in Chinese medicine for cardiovascular disease as well so it is a good example of "if a plant is threatened in the wild find a use for it". It was thought to be extinct in the wild for many years but fairly recently was discovered again in a remote part of China. It is stories like that that illustrate how important Botanic Gardens and ordinary gardeners are to plant diversity.