The Ginkgo is a descendant of one of the oldest surviving plants on earth. Its history goes back about 190 million years. That puts it with the dinosaurs. Ginkgo biloba is the only surviving species and even that was though to be extinct until discovered in Buddhist temples in China around 1100AD. It was later found in the wild in the Dalou Mountains, although it is still endangered in that sense.
Ginkgo is a curiosity because it is a deciduous conifer. It is also dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants.
Name Derivation: From Chinese words meaning silver apricot
Common Name: Maidenhair tree
Ginkgo is in the family Ginkgoaceae.