Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ginko Biloba

This summer, I went for a walk at a park, just down from my home and discovered that the city had planted Ginko Biloba trees.  I didn't know they grew here and was pleasantly surprised to see they had planted a new variety.  I love the unusual leaves and took some home to admire and make prints of.

photo from
This morning in the news was an article about a family living in Toronto, Canada where the city  unknowingly planted a female Ginko Biloba tree in front of their home. Those living in the neighborhood  are complaining that when the ripening fruit falls, if it gets stepped on or broken, it smell like a cross between dog feces and vomit.  She said they have to go out each morning and pick the fruit so people won't step on them, get the smell on their shoes and track it into their homes and of course, each year the tree gets larger and produces more fruit.

So I went to Wikipedia and sure enough they said the fruit smells like dog feces or rancid butter. 

So here's a warning to anyone wanting to plant these beautiful trees to make sure it's not a female.
Anyone have any experience with this?


  1. Never saw a ginkgo biloba tree, but we have a type of pear tree (similar to a Bradford Pear) that every time it blooms, it smells like sewage. We came THIS close to calling the septic company to complain that our tank wasn't working properly before discovering it was the bloomin' tree! :)

  2. I had no idea there was a male and female tree. How interesting

  3. I don't think we have those trees over here and the only Mystery Aroma I know of is a bush just down the road near a petrol station that smells of hyacinths, even though it doesn't appear to have any flowers! At first I wondered whether the fragrance was coming from a nearby carwash - a detergent or something? - but no, it's definitely coming from the bush!

  4. Thanks for the information, Ann. I have never had experience with being anywhere near one of these trees - only ginkgo biloba I've seen is in the vitamin section.

  5. Makes me wonder what a ginkgo biloba capsule would smell like if you broke it open?????
    Wonder if those capsules are even made with these fruits????
    We have sourwood trees on our farm and their blooms smell like soured dish water or worse,hence the name !!!
    Hope you have a blessed week

  6. Wow! Ginkgo Biloba is a lovely tree. I never thought there is female and male of this tree. Thanks for sharing the great info. :)

  7. Oh gosh...that sounds just like something I would do. Plant a tree that stinks! My hubby, however, would cut it down in a heartbeat... his nose being comparable to that of a hunting dog! :)

  8. texwisgirl - oh dear, that would be awful
    Ann - no I didn't either
    Judy - a petrol station that smells of hyacinth would be an improvement.
    Beatrice P Boyd - that's good
    carolina nana - I wonder too,if I had any I'd try. The sourwoods don't sound much better
    Jolly Princess - your welcome
    allison - funny how some people's sense of smell is so good :O)

  9. We do have them over here but I'm not sure I have ever noticed one. I looked them up and find it amazing to think they are 250 million years old!! They apparently have great medicinal properties and considering the foul smell of the fruit I was surprised to read that the kernel is edible!

    texwisgirl's comment made me laugh and I would love to know what Judy's petrol station bush is.

  10. That's the first I've seen of a Ginko Biloba tree! Pretty and very green! Thanks for your nice comments on my blog too!

  11. This tree is very pretty--I have never seen one. Wow, I never knew that the fruits of such trees could smell like dog feces and vomit. Thanks for the warning.

  12. Lovely tree...but I also have hear of the foul smelling fruits.:(

  13. Oh my goodness! Did not know any of this. Very interesting!
    What a smell that must be! And who would have thought a tree was the culprit!!!

  14. I've learned something new - lol! Who wouuld think that such a beautiful tree could smell so atrocious - ha,ha! Nice photo!

  15. Never heard of this before, but I am glad I found you today. I am your new 68th follower.

  16. NCR used to have Ginko trees along their corporate sidewalks. I don't recall which one does but either the male tree or the female tree has the bad smell.

  17. Wow now there's something you don't read about every day! huh who knew?


  18. Ginkgo Biloba are wonderful trees. The leaves are beautiful. I had a sapling here, but very sadly it did not make it.....sigh
    Didn't know about the fruits....interesting.

  19. so it means its just for female thing hehe!
    too bad the tree looks beautiful to me..
    I can plant those in my fathers back yard and tie a swing if they grow up haha "just fantasizing"

  20. i didn't always know about the male and female tree thing...but once I did it is so amazing and crazy at the same careful who you plant in your yard...!!!! lol


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.