Ginkgo biloba has so many unique adaptations. These include everything from resistance to insects, pollution, and fungicides to their incredibly long life span.


Ginkgo biloba has adapted over the years by the placement of their stomata. Stomata are pores that allow for gas exchange (carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapor) between the internal environment of the leaf and the external environment. When a Ginkgo tree is just beginning to grow, the stomata are located on the upper side of the leaf because this is the part of the plant that is first able to “breathe” air.

*The picture above and to the right shows an illustration of an enlarged stomata from a Ginkgo leaf. The picture of the Ginkgo leaf was taken by Strizale from and I have modified it to show an enlarged stomata.

Toxicity of outer covering on seeds:

The toxicity of the outer covering on the seed is another adaptation. In ancient China, people used to eat this outer layer but they found that they developed rashes and sometimes became violently ill. It didn’t take them long to realize that once they roasted the seeds, they could gain the benefits of Ginkgo biloba without getting sick from the toxic "fruit". This "fruit" also deters other predators from eating the seed as well.

Toxicity of the leaves:

Another somewhat toxic part of the plant is the leaves. Usually the leaves do not contain enough toxicity to affect humans; however, insects remain very susceptible to the toxin and they usually avoid this plant.
Life Span:

The life span of the Ginkgo tree is extremely long. There are plants still around today that began growing about 1000 years ago! Having 1000 birthdays is a definite plus when it comes to reproduction. The longer the plant lives the more likely it is to have reproductive success and produce many more Ginkgo trees.

Speaking of reproduction, click HERE to learn how Ginkgo bilboa reproduces!