- San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
Gingko or Maidenhair Tree Gingko biloba
FAMILY: GINKGOACEAE (Gingko Family)
This Chinese tree has odd branches that stick straight out from its trunk. Health food stores make many claims for Ginkgo biloba. It is supposed to restore mental acuity, help hearing and vision problems, and aid in treating impotence, edema, varicose veins, leg ulcers, and strokes! We're not sure if it truly works for all of these ailments, but one thing we do know: our Ginkgo biloba trees provide welcome shade in Elephant Odyssey and the Terrace Lagoon. And several memorable gingkos can be seen near the entrance to Condor Ridge at the Safari Park.
Ginkgo trees mount defense above and below ground: their hyper-acidic leaves deter adult insects from feeding, and their roots inhibit the growth of larvae.