Ginkgo biloba 'Jade Butterflies' / Jade Butterlies Maidenhair Tree

An unusual dwarf, slow-growing form, this plant has bright green leaves and a mature height that is less than half that of standard forms. It's an introduction out of New Zealand that is gaining popularity.

Dwarf form with sturdy dense branching. The leaves are the darkest green of all the Ginkgo, borne in clumps of unusually lobed leaves which gives it the name. 25 to 30% smaller than the species.

(JC Raulston Arboretum) - One of several new, dwarf cultivars, 'Jade Butterfly' represents a new direction for ginkgo in the U.S. Our plant, recently obtained from Stanley and Sons Nursery (Boring, OR), displays a dense growth habit with attractive bunched or tufted foliage, each leaf resembling butterfly wings. Although ultimate size is unknown since this cultivar is recently introduced and named, some estimates state that 10 year-old specimens can reach only 10 feet tall.

Ginkgo biloba 'Jade Butterfly'
Photo by
Ginkgo biloba 'Butterfly'
Photo by JC Raulston Aboretum


Jan Stump

I have had my Jade Butterflies maidenhair tree, a dwarf tree, for about 4 years. To me the branches go off in all directions; no lead. Should there be any pruning or do I just let it grow? It's healthy and about 4 feet tall. Thank you.

Randy Allen

Mine was somewhat like yours Jan. A limb from a large tree blew across our lot and broke it near the ground. So I cut it clean at ground.

So, my question to a Ginkgo expert is:

Is the Jade Butterfly a graft, or a pure clone, or ?
If it is a graft then I guess I need to change my tree list to say it is simply a “Ginkgo”, because the sprout that emerged this year is from the rootstock. It grew 6 feet this summer and looks like an average type ginkgo.

HELP, anybody. smile
Randy Allen of

Maxwell Cohn

Randy, if the grafted part is gone and all that's growing is the understock, you're definitely left with just straight species ginkgo.

Sheila Nelson

Could this be planted in a very large pot for a couple years since they grow so slowly?

Linda Edwards

Our jade butterfly is planted next to the house and has been there for several years. It is beautiful! We took a large branch off in late winter and now think another one needs to be pruned. The tree is about four 1/2 feet tall but it’s width is as wide or wider than the heighth.