Sex of Ginkgo Plants
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Ruth Noel
Posted on: July 19, 2007

I purchased a ginkgo plant in Feb of 2005 from Richters. It is doing fine. I have always kept it in a container. I would now like to plant it in the ground and want to know if your plants are male or female; as this will determine where I plant it.

Our plants are grown from seed and therefore can be either sex. You cannot tell what the sex of a young plant is. When the plant reaches maturity, the females tends to be wider and shorter, while the males are taller and narrower.

The grafted plants most garden centres carry are all male, because most people do not want the foul-smelling fruits that the females will eventually produce even though these fruit have medicinal value and contain a tasty seed. To be able to tell if the graft "took" the grafters chose a male plant with the unusual character of a leaf with virtually no cleft. When they see a cleft leaved plant they know the root stock is sprouting and not the graft and the graft has to be repeated (to be sure to have a male crown on the tree).

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