From Chinese 鴨脚 (yājiǎo) "duck feet" due to the shape of the leaves, the pronunciation then changing (along with the characters) to 銀杏 (yínxìng) "silver apricot". The same characters 銀杏 are used in Japanese (ichō) and Korean (eunhaeng). The Japanese characters used to write ginkgo look as though they could be read ginkyō, and this was the name Engelbert Kaempfer, the first Westerner to see the species in 1690, wrote down in his Amoenitates Exoticae (1712). However, his "y" was misread as a "g", and the misspelling stuck.
- Ginkgo biloba, a tree native to China with small, fan-shaped leaves and edible seeds.
- The seed of the ginkgo tree.