Ginkgo: how long in US?
reikirk at ksu.edu
Sun Dec 3 21:19:31 EST 2000
Appears not to have been posted a couple weeks ago:
I really don't have time to mess with this, and various searches a few
days back proved fruitless, but re the unchallenged assertion that Ginkgo
has only been in the USA since (?) 1913:
Michael Dirr lists this as introduced to cultivation in 1787, which
per style [of his Manual of Woody Landscape Plants] would be the earliest
recorded Western cultivation, but 1913 seems >awfully< late for something
that's been around that long to have reached the US.
Besides, a passage sticks in my mind - Oliver Wendell Holmes (I don't
know whether the father (1809-94) or son (1841-1935) proposing to his
future wife on (?) Boston Commons: "Will you take the Long Walk with me?"
And failing correction I believe that was in the non-metaphorical sense an
avenue of ginkgo trees which must thus by sometime around the mid-1800's
have been sufficiently mature to be a named landscape feature.
"Oh, yes, yes, I will!" Readers may now either swoon
or point out that these were elm trees, chestnuts etc.
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