Maidenhair (Ginkgo biloba) - leaves - October 2017
In the UK they are planted for ornamental use in parks and public open spaces. Maidenhair are large deciduous trees, developing an irregular, spreading crown with age, fan-shaped, 2-lobed leaves, and on female trees, unpleasantly scented yellow fruits each containing a single large seed. G. biloba is a deciduous tree to 25m, conical when young, becoming more irregular with age. Leaves to 12cm in width, fan-shaped and often bilobed, turning clear yellow in autumn. Unpleasantly scented dull yellow fruits in autumn on female plants The nut-like gametophytes inside the seeds are particularly esteemed in Asia, and are a traditional Chinese food. Ginkgo nuts are used in congee, and are often served at special occasions such as weddings and the Chinese New Year (as part of the vegetarian dish called Buddha's delight). In Chinese culture, they are believed to have health benefits; some also consider them to have aphrodisiac qualities. Japanese cooks add ginkgo seeds (called ginnan) to dishes such as chawanmushi, and cooked seeds are often eaten along with other dishes. When eaten in large quantities or over a long period, the gametophyte (meat) of the seed can cause poisoning by 4'-O-methylpyridoxine (MPN). MPN is heat-stable and not destroyed by cooking. Studies have demonstrated the convulsions caused by MPN can be prevented or treated successfully with pyridoxine (vitamin B6) Ginkgo seeds have long been part of traditional food items in the far East-Asian cuisine. The kernels are quite low in calories in comparison to any other tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds, etc. 100 g of fresh, raw ginkgo kernels compose of 182 calories. Overall, the ginkgo nuts may be used in small quantities as medicine instead as a staple food source unlike as in other edible nuts and seeds. ===ENDANGERED=== Scientific classification e Kingdom: Plantae Division: Ginkgophyta Class: Ginkgoopsida Order: Ginkgoales Family: Ginkgoaceae Genus: Ginkgo Species: G. biloba Binomial name Ginkgo biloba
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