Whist not a distinct cultivar, material has been propagated for some time and sold as Ginkgo biloba ‘Kew’. The mother tree(s) are in The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE. The reason that we say tree(s) is that three saplings were planted together on the same site in 1773 by Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the mother of King George III. Over the last 250 years they have grown together to form one impressive tree, which is known as the ‘Old Lion’. One subsequently had a female branch grafted on.
In the national Collection of Ginkgo biloba & Cultivars we have material which was collected from ‘Kew 1’ and ‘Kew 2’ as identified above. Both ‘Kew 1 and Kew 2’ are definitively male, as the specimens have flowered. The sex of ‘Kew 3’ is not known.
Description - Ginkgo biloba ‘Kew 2’ This is male form. The leaves are broader than ‘Kew1’, still entire, again not typical of the species and of course is subject to change. Growth is more vigorous on the plants in the collection on Kew 2, more than 40cm per annum (under nursery conditions). The branches arise at a less acute angle than with ‘Kew 1’ levelling out to become pendulous with age. Height at 10 years estimated to be 4m plus.
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