A Long-Lived Species
The graceful ginkgo tree, with its distinctive fan-shaped leaves, lines urban streets all over the world. Ginkgo biloba is the sole survivor of an ancient seed-plant lineage that first appeared 200 million years ago.
By about 1,000 years ago, all Ginkgo species had gone extinct except for small populations in China. Monks began to cultivate the tree for medicinal use. Today, the ginkgo we know is both the last species of its kind—and perhaps humans' first conservation success.
Planning on Plants
Extinction has always been a part of life. Today, humans are increasing the rate of extinctions, as our activities warm the climate and change ecosystems.
But we can also ensure plant diversity is preserved. Seed banks preserve seeds in case of environmental disaster. Gene banks preserve plant DNA for scientific study.
Erected by Smithsonian Institution.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment
Location. 38° 53.513′ N, 77° 1.55′ W. Marker is in The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of Constitution Avenue Northwest (U.S. 1/50) and 10th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling east on Constitution Avenue Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1000 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC 20530, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Solomon G. Brown (within shouting distance of this marker); Cedar of Lebanon (within shouting distance of this marker); Equal Justice Under the Law (within shouting distance of this marker); Colossal Head 4 (replica) (within shouting distance of this marker); Nathan Hale (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Petrified Wood (about 500 feet away); The American Elm that Grew Along with America (about 500 feet away); Our Tax Dollars (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The National Mall.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.