Ginkgo biloba 'Jade Butterflies'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 4 Professionals
Common Name: maidenhair tree
Type: Tree
Family: Ginkgoaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 9.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture soil in full sun. Prefers moist, sandy, well-drained soils. Tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, including both alkaline and acidic soils and compacted soils. Also tolerant of saline conditions, air pollution and heat. Adapts well to most urban environments.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ginkgo biloba is a deciduous conifer (a true gymnosperm) that matures to 100' tall. It is the only surviving member of a group of ancient plants believed to have inhabited the earth up to 150 million years ago. It features distinctive two-lobed, somewhat leathery, fan-shaped, rich green leaves with diverging (almost parallel) veins. Leaves turn bright yellow in fall. Ginkgo trees are commonly called maidenhair trees in reference to the resemblance of their fan-shaped leaves to maidenhair fern leaflets (pinnae). Ginkgos are dioecious (separate male and female trees). Nurseries typically sell only male trees (fruitless), because female trees produce seeds encased in fleshy, fruit-like coverings which, at maturity in autumn, are messy and emit a noxious, foul odor upon falling to the ground and splitting open.

Genus name is a misrendering of the Japanese gin meaning silver and kyo meaning apricot used in Japan in the 17th century.

Specific epithet means two-lobed in reference to the leaves.

‘Jade Butterflies’ is a slow-growing, dwarf, male tree that grows in an upright, vase-shaped form to only 4-6’ tall over the first 10 years. However, some authorities estimate this tree may reach as much as 10-12’ tall over the first 10 years. Mature height is currently unknown. Deeply bi-lobed leaves purportedly resemble butterflies with jade green wings, hence the cultivar name. Foliage turns a uniform and very showy golden yellow in autumn. Insignificant greenish male flowers bloom in catkins in spring.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Usually slow growing, with initial growth being somewhat sparse.

Garden Uses

Excellent dwarf tree for small areas of the landscape.