Yes, there is a living fossil.

Ginkgo Biloba ( Image:   ) Ginkgo biloba commonly known as Maidenhair Tree comes under the order Ginkgoales and belongs to the...

Ginkgo Biloba (Image: )
Ginkgo biloba commonly known as Maidenhair Tree comes under the order Ginkgoales and belongs to the family Ginkgoaceae. It is the sole representative of its order and that’s why it is known as a living fossil!

This fantastic tree is navigated and has found native to China. Since, in ancient times it has been planted in Chinese and Japanese temples. Its tolerance for cold weather is much more as compared to most of the gymnosperms. It can survive even in very adverse atmospheric conditions.

A group of gymnosperms holds this order. Family Ginkgoaceae comprises of near about 15 genera from the Permian period. Genera like Ginkgoites and Baiera which are extinct now are considered as fossilized leaves. These fossilized leaves are somewhat similar to those trees which are present now-a-days.


It is pyramidal in shape with branched trunk and fan shaped leaves. It attains the height of nearly 20-30 meters when fully matured. There is a distinction between younger and older trees. Trees which are younger have regular branches and trees which are older possess irregular shape and size. This tree looks pretty in autumn season. During spring season, production of leaves takes place over the long branches. In subsequent years, leaves are formed on short branches. During summer, its grey-green leaves turn to yellow-green in color and when autumn season comes, its leaves turn into beautiful golden color.

Benefits of this fantastico tree:

Ginkgo has many benefits since ancient times. Ancient Chinese medicines were made from it. The extract of this tree is very useful for old age people. It helps in more oxygen utilization which is helpful in increasing memory and concentration. It also helps to enhance other mental abilities. This herbal extract can cure a person suffering from depression. Other problems like sinusitis, vertigo and headaches have also found cure in this extract. Along with above qualities, it also helps in improving blood flow in our body. It stimulates the brain in a way that it reduces chances of short term memory loss.
As food:

There is a nut inside its seed which is valued in India but is a traditional Chinese food. Ginkgo nuts are served at weddings or at special occasions like Chinese New Year.  People believe many health benefits of it. Japanese people often add it to their dishes.

If it is consumed in large quantity be children for a longer period of time, it can even cause poisoning. As it has strong chemical composition, some people are sensitive to its outer coating. While preparing this as food, they need to put on disposable gloves.

All the trees of this order are extinct now and so this fantastic tree represents its whole order by acting as a living fossil!

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