The maidenhair tree from Princess Augusta’s original botanic garden is still thriving at Kew

Ginkgo biloba is one of the few trees that survive from Princess Augusta’s original 1762 botanic garden.

Map icon
View on map: UK - Kew Gardens,

14 Sep 2009

  •  
  • Close Thanks for liking this page. Tell us why by adding a comment at the bottom.
Ginkgo biloba at Kew

Gingko biloba at Kew (Image: RBG Kew)


The magnificent Ginkgo biloba or maidenhair tree that dates from 1762 is one of the few trees that survive from Princess Augusta’s original botanic garden. 

A hardy but endangered species, it grows in the wild in eastern China in only two locations and has no known living relatives.

Ginkgo trees are highly resistant to weather damage. Several even survived the Hiroshima atomic bomb in 1945 and are still alive today.

Ginkgo is used in Chinese medicine and is said to aid concentration and memory.

Kew magazine
 




3 comments on 'The maidenhair tree from Princess Augusta’s original botanic garden is still thriving at Kew'

Kew Sustainable Uses team says

13/01/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

Although many plant introductions are popularly attributed to the Crusaders, firm evidence is lacking. Liquorice cultivation seems to have started in western Europe in the 16th century, well after the time of the Crusades.


Kew Arboretum Team says

11/01/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

It is thought that the Ginkgo came from the Duke of Argyle's estate in Whitton in 1762. The Duke of Argyle was the uncle of Lord Bute who was Princess Augusta's horticultural advisor. The Duke died and left everything to his mistress, so Lord Bute took the best trees which we know today as the "Old Lions" and one of them was the Ginkgo.


john gaunt says

08/01/2010 12:00:00 AM | Report abuse

Where did the Princess get her tree from in the first place ?? AND Why ? What did the Crusaders bring back from The Crusades, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra ) ? regards John from Yorkshire.


See your favourite reasons to visit