Ginkgo 841 Plant

The species Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) belongs to the family Ginkgoaceae (the only one in the class of Ginkgopsida). The plant grows as a tree, reaches 30 to 40 m in height and up to 200 years of age. The species ginkgo was spread around the world in the mesozoikum (100 to 250 million years ago). Ginkgo biloba L. derives from the mountain forests of eastern and western China, entered Europe in the first half of the 18th century and America at the end of the century [102-105].Today the tree is planted in plantations in Japan, South Korea, South Carolina (USA), around Bordeaux (France) and in the temperate zones of New Zealand and Argentina [102].

The Ginkgo plant is diocious, which means there are female and male trees. The male pollen is transmitted by wind. Ginkgo trees first blossom after 20 to 30 years. In Europe and America they are in bloom around May. The herbal drugs used from the Ginkgo are the leaves (Ginkgo bilobae folium), which are harvested and dried between August and September. Yet, in autumn the semen (Semen Ginkgo) drop 2 to 3 weeks after the leaves fall. Traditionally they are collected and separated from the outer shell peel, which smells unpleasant due to its butter-acid or valerian-acid content, and prepared to be eaten [102], [104-107].

Although the botanical term Ginkgo is most widespread, it is worth mentioning its synonyms (e.g. Salisburia adiantifolia SMITH) or common names in certain countries: China: Bai guo; Germany: Facherblattbaum; England: Maidenhair tree; France: Arbre aux quarante ecus; Japan: Gin kyo [104].

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