China, now naturalized nearly worldwide
Large trees reaching up to 115 feet (35 meters), lobed leaves on long slender stalks turn yellow and fall off rapidly in fall.
Four ginkgo trees survived the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. They were a little over a mile (2km) from the blast site, and although severely damaged, they went on to produce seeds without deformities the following spring. About 160 trees survived the bombing, they are all protected and cared for by the Japanese government as survivors.
Ginkgoes are the last living survivors of their group, there is no other plant on earth that is related to them. They are in a division (phylum) by themselves. Believed to have evolved from ferns, they date back to the Jurassic Period over 250 million years ago.
Female ginkgo trees produce nuts that smell like rotting meat, some say rancid butter. This is believed to have once attracted carnivores for pollination. Much like Magnoli trees originally evolved to attract beetles, not bees. Today humans are the number one pollinator for ginkgoes, although this is usually done with cloning and grafting.