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


Best grown in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Young plants should be staked for support. Good tolerance for urban conditions.

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.

‘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.


No known serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Excellent dwarf tree for small areas of the landscape.