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Ginkgo biloba


also ging·ko  (gĭng′kō)
n. pl. gink·goes also ging·koes
A deciduous, dioecious tree (Ginkgo biloba) native to China and having fan-shaped leaves used in herbal medicine. The female plants bear foul-smelling fleshy fruitlike structures containing edible seeds used in East Asian cuisine, while the male plants are often grown as ornamental street trees. Also called maidenhair tree.

[Probably from ginkyō (with graphic confusion of a romanized form of this word leading to the spelling with -kg- in European languages) : Japanese gin, silver (from Middle Chinese ŋin, ultimately from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *ŋul; akin to Tibetan dngul and Burmese ngwe) + Japanese kyō, apricot, any of several members of the genus Prunus (from Middle Chinese xɦa⋮jŋ`, also the source of Mandarin xìng).]
Word History: The odd spelling of the word ginkgo, which hardly indicates the usual pronunciation (gĭng′kō) very well, results from a botanist's error. In Japanese, the name of the ginkgo tree is written with kanji that can be read as ginkyō. The kanji that is pronounced gin literally means "silver," while the kanji pronounced kyō refers to several fruit-bearing trees of the genus Prunus, including the apricot. The kanji thus make reference to the green fruitlike structures that are borne by the female trees and contain a hard white inner seed covering similar to an apricot pit or pistachio shell. In Modern Japanese, however, these kanji are not read ginkyō but rather ginnan when they refer to the edible seeds and ichō when they refer to the tree itself. This complicated situation helps explain how the name of the tree came to be spelled ginkgo in European languages. The first Western scientist to learn of the existence of the ginkgo tree was Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716), a German physician and naturalist who visited Japan in 1691 and brought some seeds of the ginkgo back to Europe. During his stay in Japan, he also took notes on a Japanese work on botany and added comments on how to pronounce the names of the plants written in kanji. While taking these notes, Kaempfer apparently made a mistake and jotted down that the kanji literally meaning "silver apricot" were to be pronounced ginkgo. Later, he used these notes to prepare a book on the plants of Japan, and his mistake found its way into print. The great Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus perpetuated the error when assigning the scientific name Ginkgo biloba ("the two-lobed ginkgo") to the tree, and the spelling has been fixed ever since.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gingko - deciduous dioecious Chinese tree having fan-shaped leaves and fleshy yellow seedsgingko - deciduous dioecious Chinese tree having fan-shaped leaves and fleshy yellow seeds; exists almost exclusively in cultivation especially as an ornamental street tree
gymnospermous tree - any tree of the division Gymnospermophyta
References in classic literature ?
One huge gingko tree, topping all the others, shot its great limbs and maidenhair foliage over the fort which we had constructed.
As Twist Bioscience lowers the price of its DNA, Gingko Bioworks will purchase significantly increased volumes of synthetic DNA.
Although natively present in gingko leaves, rutin is known to be added extraneously with the intent to inflate flavonol glycosides assay values.
Many people with Alzheimer's as well as those concerned about becoming affected take gingko, derived from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree.
In their paper, French scientists reported the results of a trial of gingko biloba involving nearly 3000 people 70 years or older who had complained of memory problems to their physicians.
The gingko tree can grow to a height of over 50 metres, can live for over 1000 years (Mills 2000), is highly tolerant to pollution, urbanisation and cold weather, and is extremely resistant to common environmental enemies like insects, bacteria, viruses and fungi (Curtis-Prior 1999, Oken 1998).
Gingko biloba was also shown to be therapeutic after a stroke.
But 15 minutes later Gingko shaved another spot off the record when stopping the clock in 17.
So if you're taking blood-thinning medications, don't worry about taking gingko as well.
In 2000, new regulations on the sale of Gingko were made law because of fears of side-effects.
In the end, not even the fact that they were historical could save two gingko trees that had been planted by the first Anglican and Canadian bishop of Honan, China--William Charles White--outside the old Anglican Church of Canada's national office at 600 Jarvis St.
The gingko family reached its development peak in the Triassic and Jurassic eras, then went the way of the dinosaur as the Ice Age eliminated all but the Ginkgo biloba from the western hemisphere.