The Ginkgo, the Most Ancient Living Tree

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Science  15 Sep 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3794, pp. 1270-1273
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3794.1270


Fossil records clearly demonstrate that the group of trees known as Ginkgoales, of which today Ginkgo biloba is the sole living member, date back over 200 million years. Ginkgo bilboa itself is one of the oldest of living plants (4). It appears that the longevity of this tree and its long reproductive period are at least partially responsible for the persistence of the species. The resistance of these trees to pests such as insects, bacteria, viruses, and fungi has been studied. It is believed that their unusual resistance to pests accounts in part for the longevity of the trees and also, in turn, for the longevity of the species.

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