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Ginkgo: how long in US?

Bill Morgan wtmorgan at pilot.msu.edu
Mon Dec 4 13:15:34 EST 2000

In article <3A2B0A54.A196C42D at home.com>, Pam <grdngal48 at home.com> wrote:

> I would venture to say that gingkos have been present in the US, although
> perhaps not literally 'under cultivation',  for somewhat longer than even
> Dirr's 1787.  Washington State is home to a petrified gingko forest near
> Vantage on the Columbia River and I managed to unearth a gingko leaf fossile
> this summer in north central Washington.........I think the paleobotanist said
> it dated back some 14 million years.

That might be, *but* that's not the same line as present-day ginkos. Any
paleoginkos in North America went extinct quite some time ago. The living
one goes back to a very small population preserved in the far East. Those
were not known to Western nations until a few centuries ago.

So, while there may have been ginkos in North America at one time, they
were gone well before Columbus reached the New World.

There's a similar story with the Metasequoia...


"Those who do not learn the lessons of science fiction are condemned to
live them." -- WTM

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