Maidenhair Tree is a tree up to 40 m high and up to 4.5 m in diameter. the Crown is initially pyramidal and grows with age. This is a deciduous plant with a unique form of leaves for modern gymnosperms — a fan-shaped two-lobed plate 5-8 cm wide, on a thin petiole up to 10 cm long. Veins with dichotomous branching. Leaves develop on long shoots singly and quickly, or on shortened groups of two or four slowly. The plant is dioeciously, male plants develop pollen in catkins-like collections of sporangia (spikelets). On female plants, two ovules develop on long legs. Both processes first occur in the 25-30 year of life of the tree, only then is it possible to tell whether it is female or male.
Plants are pollinated by wind in late spring. A few months after this, in the fall, pollinated oviposits fertilize, they yellowish seeds ripe and fall off, the embryo in them develops after the fall. The seeds somewhat resemble an peach, but have an unpleasant smell of rancid oil (it gives butyric acid), they are rounded. The seed skin consists of three layers: the outer layer is fleshy, yellowish — amber in color, the middle layer is hard, with longitudinal ribs, and the inner layer is thin and papery. They usually have a well-developed root system, are well resistant to strong winds and snow drifts. Some trees reach the age of 2500 years. In autumn, the leaves turn yellow and quickly fall off.
The leaves of Maidenhair Tree contain more than a hundred biologically active substances. Some of them are peculiar. These include terpene trilactones-ginkgolides and bilobalides. In dry raw materials, they account for from 5 to 12% of the total content of substances. From 22 to 27% in bioflavonoids, this includes meletin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin. The Maidenhair Tree also contains tannins, organic acids, polysaccharides, catechins, fatty and essential oils, and wax. There is also an enzyme in the leaves that has antioxidant properties-superoxide dismutase. The Maidenhair Tree seeds contain protein similar to legume proteins, butyric and Valerian acid, sugars, starch, carotene and phytosterols.
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