Ginkgo biloba ‘Sunstream’ has never looked better

Plants definitely have a secret life of their own. Sometimes, especially when you don’t pay attention, they produce something that is both surprising and utterly beautiful. This is how I felt when I saw the new leaves on my Ginkgo biloba ‘Sunstream’.


I bought it last fall at Peacock Horticultural Nursery in Sebastopol, CA. It was a fairly small plant in a one-gallon container, and since it went dormant soon thereafter, I forgot about it until this spring.


But look at it now! Almost every leaf has strong variegation.


I can’t get enough of the patterns. The yellow streaks look like they were painted on by hand.



Right after I took these photos I put the tree in a larger pot. Since it’s such a slow grower, it should be fine for years to come.

I have another variegated ginkgo cultivar, ‘Jade Butterflies’. In the past, the variegation was almost white but this year it’s yellow. In fact, it looks just like ‘Sunstream’ but less dramatic because only half of the leaves are variegated.

If you like ginkgos, aka maidenhair trees, be sure to read this post I wrote a while back about a free ebook on these living fossils. The book is still available as a free download.


  1. That is quite beautiful! Are there mature specimens of this cultivar? I bet the effect isn't as impressive on a big tree since you can't get up close to the leaves.

    1. The largest variegated ginkgo I've ever seen was in a 5-gallon container. Maybe 3 ft tall?

      I agree, on a mature tree the leaves might look sickly yellow when viewed from a distance. I guess it's a good thing that ginkgos are sooooo slow. I'll be able to keep my specimen in a container for many years to come.

  2. Peter (the Outlaw) gave me a variegated ginkgo when we first met. I finally planted it in the garden a couple of weeks ago, the variegation is always slow to develop each spring, the leaves are just startling to show some stripes. Your photos make me very excited to see how they look this year.

  3. Very nice! You've got a very good batch of variegated leaves this year.


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