Gingko biloba (maidenhair tree)
Gingko biloba, native to China, is one of the most beautiful trees in Roosevelt Park. In fall, the fan-shaped leaves turn a spectacular yellow color.
Maidenhair trees have been called a “living fossil.” They are the sole survivor of a group of trees dating back more than 200 million years. Maidenhair trees can live to extreme old age; the oldest recorded tree is 3,500 years old.
Medical Uses of Gingko biloba
Chinese medicine has used the leaves of the maidenhair tree for a variety of disorders. Flavonoids and terpenoids in the plant are believed to be the cause of medical effects.
Scientists have recently conducted studies using standardized extracts from dried Gingko biloba leaves to evaluate whether it is effective for treating conditions that include dementia, macular degeneration, glaucoma and PMS. The seeds of the tree can sometimes be toxic.