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Ginkgo biloba

The sole survivor of a species of trees that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs, Ginkgo biloba is a living bridge between ferns and conifers.  Magnificent specimens can be found in Mount Royal Cemetery as well as on Avenue St-Germain in Outremont.

The plant's medicinal properties are well documented in Western medicine where the leaves are used to enhance memory and cognition. Tall, sturdy and incredibly long-lived (some as long as 1,000 years) the Gingko sheds spectacular, golden leaves that look like jewels - capturing my imagination and inviting me to adorn them even further.

Once embellished, the leaves were arranged in a lotus pattern - a nod to the Buddhist tradition of venerating this “prehistoric” tree.