Bernheim at 90: Celebrating the Ginkgo Collection

By Bernheim

The Ginkgo Collection started in 1954 as 9 specimens, purchased for a cost of $99. Since then, it has expanded to include 16 different cultivars. Ginkgo biloba, commonly referred to as the Ginkgo or Maidenhair tree, can be found in fossils dating back 270 million years but was once thought extinct for a time, until it was rediscovered growing wild in the Zhejiang providence of China in 1869. Ginkgo biloba is the only remaining species in the division Gynkgophyta—all others are extinct. This species is best known for its use in food and traditional Chinese medicine.

One of the most special members of the Ginkgo collection is the ‘Bernheim Broom’, a cultivar developed from a witches broom found in the (NAME) Ginkgo in the Bernheim Collection. The Brooms can be seen on the Legends and Sun and Shade trails at Bernheim, and the original host Ginkgo can be seen in the Ginkgo Collection across from the Sun and Shade trail.

Another very special specimen found in our Ginkgo collection is the ‘Henry Clay’, which was grafted from a female Ginkgo whose seed was presented to Henry Clay by a foreign diplomat and planted at his estate in Lexington around the time of the civil war. Henry Clay is believed to be the first to re-introduce the species to central Kentucky.

Come visit these and other Ginkgo specimens as we celebrate our 90th anniversary here at Bernheim!

  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Bryson City’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Pendula’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Car Wash’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Cave Hill Broom’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Saratoga’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Chi Chi’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Shangri-La’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Horizontalis’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Spring Grove’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Jade Butterflies’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘The President’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Mariken’
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Windover Gold’

In 2019, Bernheim celebrates 90 years of connecting people with nature. At over 25 square miles, Bernheim is the largest privately held forest dedicated to conservation and education in the region. Our arboretum is home to plant collections of over 8,000 varieties, public art, and educational programming for thousands of students.  Our pristine forest hosts hikers and outdoor adventures alongside research and conservation projects which will serve to protect the environment for future generations.

As a 100% member and donor supported organization, we could not fulfill this important mission without you. We hope you’ll continue to support our efforts throughout the next 90 years.  Join or donate by clicking here.

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