|Would you believe 200 million years old? This ginkgo tree has only been growing at the Arboretum for about 30 years, but trees that looked just like it were growing in forests during the time of the dinosaurs.|
Look at the shape of the leaves. Notice that many of them have a deep notch in the center, sort of like a heart. They're also shaped like little fans. There isn't another tree anywhere that looks like this. Whenever you see these leaves, you know you're looking at a ginkgo.
Scientists know that ginkgos were alive during the time of the dinosaurs because they have found fossils of the leaves, pollen, and seeds. You could say that fossils are the earth's way of leaving us a picture album of prehistoric times. Parts or patterns of animals and plants turn into stone and show us what life was like millions of years before we were born.
Fossil ginkgo leaf.
Real ginkgo leaf.
How to find the ginkgo tree at the
We have several ginkgos at the Arboretum. You can find this one in the Asian Collections. Stand in front of the Asian Collections sign, turn to your right and walk down the path. It's on your right.
Scientific name for ginkgo: Ginkgo biloba
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Last Updated July 10, 2009 10:05 AM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/collections/VirtualTours/KidsVirtualTour_24b.html