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Ginkgo Biloba - a Tree that Outlived the Dinosaurs and is a Living Fossil


We live in a world where fossil trees still exist, and one of them is the Ginkgo Biloba tree.

A yellow leaves on tree branches on blue sky background
Gingko Biloba tree in autumn colours Copyright Agnes Romaniuk

Together with conifers, trees of the genus "Ginkgoinae" created forests in the northern hemisphere (in the period from Permian to Cretaceous).

BTW Permian Period was 252 million years ago and Cretaceous Period — 66 million years ago.


Ginkgo Biloba a Living Fossil. One of oldest trees on Earth


Ginkgo Biloba lived in time 290 million years ago to when bizarre-looking creatures dominated life on land and sea, and dinosaurs had not yet evolved. Next this tree lived over Age of the Dinosaurs (in the Mesozoic Era) included three consecutive geologic time periods (the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods). Different dinosaur species lived during each of these three periods.

After the dinosaurs died out, nearly 65 million years passed before people appeared on Earth. Ginkgo Biloba overlived dinosaurs and is one of the oldest living tree species in the world.

Today Gingko Biloba is one of the wonders of the natural world, a 'living fossil'.

Ginkgo Biloba Endangered Tree


Currently, the only wild species of Ginkgo Biloba lives mainly in the mountain forests of southern China. Ginkgo Biloba is rated as Endangered and facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild, according to IUCN Red List criteria.

You can see other varieties of Ginkgo planted as an ornamental tree around the world, mainly in botanical gardens.


Some sources say that when the atomic bomb exploded in Hiroshima, only Ginkgo Biloba was reborn from the roots. These trees also resisted climate changes on Earth for a long time, both natural and man-made.


Longevity and beauty


This tree is very unusual because of its fan-shaped leaves and golden - yellow fall colour in autumn. Ginkgo biloba is also very tall and can reach a height of 20–35 meters.


I don't see many of these trees. I took the photos of Gingko Biloba during my walk at RHS Garden Bridgewater in Manchester (UK) in November and now you can see them in this post.


I will tell you one more story about Ginkgo Biloba. In the valley of the San and Wisla rivers in Poland, where the castle in Krasiczyn is located, there is a park where a magical tree grows. Ginkgo Biloba owes its magical power to ancient stories. The tree supposedly can making dreams come true. Just walk around the tree three times to make your dream come true. Therefore, a special walking platform was built around the tree in the castle park to prevent anyone from damaging the tree's roots. I can imagine how many people are willing to walk around the tree and express their dreams while doing so. Crowds certainly come there.
A yellow tree against the background of bare trees
Gingko Biloba at RHS Garden Bridgewater © Agnes Romaniuk


Vibrant yellow colour of these endangered trees is extraordinary and every time I see them I am completely stunned.










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