Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot

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Yale University Press, Mar 19, 2013 - Science - 352 pages
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DIVPerhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, ginkgo has remained stubbornly unchanged for more than two hundred million years. A living link to the age of dinosaurs, it survived the great ice ages as a relic in China, but it earned its reprieve when people first found it useful about a thousand years ago. Today ginkgo is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity. This engaging book tells the full and fascinating story of a tree that people saved from extinction—a story that offers hope for other botanical biographies that are still being written./divDIV /divDIVInspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, renowned botanist Peter Crane explores the evolutionary history of the species from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration, and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees. Readers of this extraordinarily interesting book will be drawn to the nearest ginkgo, where they can experience firsthand the timeless beauty of the oldest tree on Earth./div
 

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Contents

PART v Decline and Survival
Constraint
Retreat
Extinction
Endurance
Relic PART v History
Antiquity
Reprieve

Stature
7
Gender
Seeding
Resilience
Origin and Prehistory
Origins
Ancestry
Relationships
Recognition
Proliferation
Winnowing
Persistence
Prosperity
Voyages
Renewal
Resurgence
PART VI
Nuts
Streets
Pharmacy
PART v Future
Insurance
Legacy
List of Common Plant Names Used in the Text
Bibliography
Illustration Credits
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Peter Crane is a San Jose poet and journalist who has lived in Northern California for over thirty years. Crane has written extensively about San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley and his work has appeared in both local and national publications.

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