Delicatelyart nouveau silvered pewter box with ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree) leaves and nuts, circa 1890.
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Ginkgo poem by Goethe
This leaf from a tree in the East,
Has been given to my garden.
It reveals a certain secret,
Which pleases me and thoughtful people.
Does it represent One living creature
Which has divided itself?
Or are these Two, which have decided,
That they should be as One?
To reply to such a Question,
I found the right answer:
Do you notice in my songs and verses
That I am One and Two?
- Ginkgo biloba is known as a “living fossil tree”. This tree’s genetic line spans the Mesozoic era back to the Triassic period. Closely related species are thought to have existed for over 200 million years.
- The nut-like gametophytes found inside the seeds are a traditional Chinese food and are believed to have health benefits.
- Several ginkgoes were the only living survivors of an atomic bomb blast dropped on Hiroshima.