After a public appeal made in the Czech media following the discovery of the first tetraploid Ginkgo in 2016, this triploid plant was identified during a ploidy screening programme of Ginkgoes exhibiting unusual characteristics at Masaryk University in Brno. By chance, this plant came from the personal garden of one co-authors of the university team involved in the research programme, Ondřej Knápek. Interestingly it is the only Ginkgo plant cultivated in his garden in Bernartice nad Odrou, in the Czech Republic.
Ondřej Knápek’s plant originated as a seedling bought 2002 in Tropic Hukvaldy Garden Shop in the Czech Republic. The plant is cultivated in ordinary garden soil soil where it grows quite vigorously consequently it has had to be regularly pruned so as not to exceed an acceptable size for the garden. After finding its peculiar ploidy in 2016 the pruning of the top part has stopped, and the plant is left to show its natural growth habit. In 2020 the tree was approximately 4 m high with the trunk circumference of 20 cm at 1 m.
Description - Ginkgo biloba ‘Knápek`s Triploid’ differs from the wild form in respect of the foliage, which is larger. The leaves are generally 6-9 cm long and 9-12 cm wide (the largest up to 18 cm wide and 11 cm long) and have relatively long petioles. All leaves have a deep incision, a character usually found only in s seedlings and young Ginkgo plants. The annual growth rate is 60 cm which is comparable to ‘wild’ Ginkgo. . The plant will if unpruned attain a height of 5 m to 6 m, with a spread of possibly 3 m in 10 years.
Spontaneous or artificial Gymnosperm triploids are usually slow-growing and sterile and this tree has not produced any flowers to date, therefore the sex remains unknown.
Several grafts have been made by O. Knápek and distributed to some important Ginkgo collections and gardens. We were lucky enough to receive scion material in February of 2020 from Petr Šmarda, a colleague of Ondřej Knápek at Masaryk University.
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