Inspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London's Kew Gardens since the 1760s, Yale botanist Peter Crane tells the story of the ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) tree in his book, Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot.
Perhaps the world's most distinctive tree, ginkgo has remained unchanged for more than two hundred million years. A living fossil, it survived the great ice ages and earned status in China when people discovered its medicinal usefulness about a thousand years ago. Today ginkgo, is beloved for the elegance of its fan-shaped leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity.
Crane explores the history of the ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. He highlights its cultural and social significance, 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.
In this podcast, Crane reads for us the first chapter of Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot.
The annual natural census is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the National Park Service's 100th by holding hundreds of events at parks nationwide.