This plant is dioecious, having separate male and female plants. This occurs in only ~5% of the worlds plants. It is an adaptation often found on islands and helps insure more genetic diversity through cross pollination. Most plants utilized in cultivation today are male plants because the females produce a messy, foul-smelling fruit. A combination of pollution tolerance, resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old.
Because of advances in plant propagation and distribution this plant is widespread and abundantly available for purchase, opposite its status in nature, where it occurs infrequently.