Ginkgo The Tree That Time Forgot Peter Crane, Peter Raven
- Publication date:
- 05 Apr 2013
- 400 pages: 254 x 178 x 28mm
- 61 b&w illustrations
Perhaps 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. Inspired 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.
Peter Crane is Carl W. Knobloch Jr. Dean and professor, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, and former director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
'A wholly absorbing biography of one of the world’s oldest and most celebrated trees'. The Independent
'It is one of those rare works written by a scholar whose passion for his subject makes you want to go out and hug a ginkgo – or at least seek one out to examine it more closely'. Stephanie Pain, New Scientist
'With its meticulous footnotes, satisfying referencing and gripping narrative, I can see this book becoming a commuter’s favourite for scientists and general readers alike'. Sandra Knapp, Nature
'The Ginkgo tree is widely known but very few people know much about it. Peter Crane's superb new biography of this fascinating tree taps into science, culture, history, and medicine, using a single plant to tell a host of stories. Finally, Ginkgo gets its due'. Kirk Johnson, Sant Director, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
New England Wild Flower Society
Leo J. Hickey
Georgius Everhardus Rumphius
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