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Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot Hardcover – March 19, 2013
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"Ginkgo cranei, an extinct species of the family, is named after the author who lived beside the UK’s oldest Ginkgo while he was director of Kew Gardens. This qualification is dwarfed by the depth of Crane’s knowledge and the sparkle of his prose. He also reminds us why conservation matters: 'Letting species go extinct when we have the power to intervene is like letting a library burn just when we are learning how to read'." —Jane Owen, The Financial Times (Jane Owen Financial Times 2013-06-29)
“Ginkgo is a rare work about a tree unlike any other. Written by Peter Crane, a paleobotanist and former head of the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, his passion for the subject makes you want to go out and hug a ginkgo.”—New Scientist (New Scientist 2013-11-30)
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have never met a ginkgo, then you are in for a surprise. Just walk down any street in Manhattan and I would bet there are a half a dozen or more around. They are indestructible and live upon the urban exhaust from cars and trucks. They can survive quite well in most temperate environments, just add CO2, water and sunlight. Not too cold and not too hot and they take off.
I have been growing ginkgoes from seed for a couple of decades. Each tree is different and one grows three feet a year. After twenty years it is over sixty feet tall. It gets abundant water sitting on the edge of a daylily garden. Others are slow growers, just a few inches. Yet they all have the distinctive leaf, and in the fall the distinctive golden yellow leaf, and then they all drop on the same day. It is a wonderful orchestrated act of nature.
Crane goes through this tree and uses it to tell many tales. Tales of paleobotany and the paleobotanists. People who look for plants in the rocks from millions of years ago. Then he explores the biology of the ginkgo. It is a plant which has male and female versions, and both are often necessary for reproduction. The seed is coveted as an edible treat whereas the seed covering is quite distasteful.
Also Crane discusses the evolutionary placement amongst on the one hand ferns and on the other hand conifers. Ginkgoes are gymnosperms, naked seeds, unlike what we have in flowering plants.Read more ›
According to his accounts ginkgoes have been ever present for 200 million years or more. Once widespread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, they almost disappeared as the climate changed to cool and dry. Extinction of mediating animals might cause bad impact on their survival. Where caught my eyes is ginkgoes were discovered in Japan through trading at Deshima in the late seventeenth century, and were brought into cultivation in Europe and then in America. Ginkgoes were survived in China and evidently spread to Korea and Japan. Crane’s knowledge is wide and profound, he searches the origin of word “Ginkgo” in the chapter titled Naming. He explains the word originated in Japanese “Ginkyo.” People longs for it’s longevity. While the seeds have been widely used in the East, extracts from leaves have got attention almost exclusively in the West. Ginkgo leaf extracts are said to be among the leading prescription medicines in both Germany and France. It is used for symptomatic treatment of deficits in memory, concentration, and certain kinds of depression.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The wide breadth of this book is dizzying. From ecology to gastronomy, from culture to horticulture, from history to climatology, from evolution to medication, from botany to... Read morePublished 12 months ago by W. Cheung
It was purchased as a gift. He said he loved it. That is one of his favorite plants. Also I wasn't able to find that book in any book store.Published 18 months ago by Nicolina Halvorson
This book is nicely written on the matter of Ginkgo,mysterious ancient living fossil tree.The chapter of naming Ginkgo, instead of Ginkyo, is very interesting speculation.Published 19 months ago by Satoshi Yamaguchi
A lot of history about trees in the book. Second half about Ginkgo. When you are mostly interested in how to use Ginkgo this is not the book to buy. Only a few pages about use.Published 21 months ago by Annette Vuuren
Awesome book! I purchased one for myself and another as a gift for my mother. We both think the book is lovely.Published 22 months ago by Bailey
This book tells the history of the Ginkgo tree, from its fossilized past covering millions of years, to its remnant population in China, to its widespread cultivation today. Read morePublished on March 27, 2014 by Robert J. Schaefer
Crane's book on Gingko Biloba provides a good overview about the biological, historical, and cultural aspects that characterize this amazing tree. Read morePublished on March 17, 2014 by Pichierri Fabio