Ginkgo Biloba

This is one of a line of Ginkgo biloba trees in the grounds of one of the Cambridge University colleges. I photographed it today, and the weather was pretty miserable. You can probably tell that from the photo. Same for this next photo.

Gingko biloba leaves

These are the leaves, fallen onto the steps the lead between the College buildings.

Besides the trees at this College, there are two Ginkgo trees in the park at Christ’s Pieces, a few more in the Botanic Gardens, and one in the Fellows’ Garden of Christ’s College.

They may be more Ginkgo biloba trees in Cambridge, and the city may have more specimens than any other place in England.

The tree is native to Japan, and there are streets and streets of them in Japanese towns and cities. And the squashy, slippy, seed that smell of ripe cheese that litter the pavements there make walking treacherous.

Ginkgo trees are dioecious, which means that the male and female reproductive organs are found on different trees. The pollen is wind-blown, and if all the trees near one another are all the same sex, that would account for why there were no squishy seeds underfoot today.

It makes one think, looking at a Ginkgo biloba tree that it is the earliest tree in the evolutionary arc. The first Ginkgo emerged 240 million years ago, passing seed from one to another in an unbroken chain through to today.

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