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Stonerose Fossils

Ginkgo Tree 
Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba, the living maidenhair tree, is related to pines and firs as it is also a member of the gymnosperms. Ginkgos were common plants in the time of the dinosaurs but eventually became restricted to growing wild only in eastern Asia.

Its name comes from the Chinese words yin for silver, and hsing for apricot, which describes the soft, mushy coating that surrounds each seed. This fleshy coating has a bad smell when the seed is fully ripe.

ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is the living species of a group of tress that originated over 250 million years ago.
Photo by T.A. Dillhoff

ginkgo dissecta
Another ginkgo species, Ginkgo dissecta, is rarely found at the Stonerose fossil site. The illustrated specimen is from the McAbee site in British Columbia, where they are much more common.
Photo by T.A. Dillhoff

Leaves of two Ginkgo species have been found at the Stonerose fossil site. The most common one is so similar to the living maidenhair tree that the leaves are indistinguisable. The other species has leaves with much longer dissected lobes and is called Ginkgo dissecta.

Today’s Ginkgos, like dawn redwoods, are considered "living fossils" because they have survived, apparently unchanged, for at least 100 million years.