Ginkgo biloba ‘Freak’ was the first tetraploid cultivar (A tetraploid plant has four sets of chromosomes per cell) selected 1993-1997 by Josef Hahnl ; Chorherrn Bezirk Tulln; Tulburgerstraße ; Österreich Nähe Wien, Austria. from the seedlings grown from seeds from the old Ginkgo in Schönbrunn castle (see Ginkgo biloba “Schönbrunn”). It was introduced in 2009. It is a favourite of the National Collection Holder of Ginkgo biloba and Cultivars because of its very unusual characteristics.
Description – Ginkgo biloba ‘Freak’ The leaves have the typical characteristics of a tetraploid plant, they are thick with irregularly, finely to deeply lobed outer leaf margins. Ginkgo biloba ‘Freak’ differs from Hahnl´s other tetraploids by being a bit smaller (leaf blades of well-developed leaves are about 4 - 5 cm high and 5-9 cm wide, with 5-9 cm long petioles). They also tend to be slightly unsymmetrical. The branches grow irregularly on the tree and tend to be overhanging. Both peculiar growth and leaves gave the cultivar its name. The annual growth rate is 20 cm – 25 cm. The mother plant was cultivated in 300 litre pot and has reached a height of only 3.5 m after 22 years. It is now cultivated in a private garden in Steiermark region in Austria.
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