The Ginkgo and its discoverer

Ginkgo Museum

The Ginkgo and its discoverer
Millions of years ago, the Ginkgo tree naturally retreated towards South East Asia, where it found optimal growing conditions. Its European rediscovery is due to the German botanist and physician Engelbert Kaempfer (1651 - 1716), from the city of Lemgo in the principality of Westphalia. During his employment with the Dutch East India Company, he had the opportunity to travel extensively in East Asia.

When Kaempfer saw that Ginkgo nuts were considered a delicacy as well as taken as medicine since it was believed that they promoted good health and a long life, he brought the Ginkgo seeds back to Europe. Around 1730 the first attempts were undertaken in Utrecht und Leyden in theNetherlands to resettle the Ginkgo tree in Europe.
The success can still be seen in the botanical garden in Utrecht, where a Ginkgo tree planted in 1730 can be admired and another one in Leyden planted around 1754.

Entry from the Brockhaus-Encyclopedia
Kaempfer, Engelbert, physician and research scientist, Lemgo 16.9.1651, ebd. 2.11. 1716, travelled in 1683 as a secretary of a Swedish delegation via Moscow to Persia, which he thoroughly explored during the following four years. After his stay in Persia he travelled through Arabia, India, Sumatra, Java and Siam. His descriptions of Japan, where he stayed from 1690-92, were used as reference in Europe until the 19th century.
However, most of his scientific legacy still lies unpublished in the British Museum in London.
Works: Amoenitates exoticae ( 1712 )
History of Japan an Siam, 2 Bde. (aus dem Nachlaß 1728;
New edition 1906; dt. 1777-79; Reprint 1964);
Am Hofe des pers. Großkönigs, bearb. V. W. Hinz (1940).
K.Meier-Lemgo: E.K. (1937).
- Translation by Susanne Wilm, 2003
- Update by Zenaida des Aubris, 2009

The main focuses of the presentation in our Ginkgo Museum

>Ginkgo Museum aktuell

World Ginkgo Exibition Hall

Int. Ginkgo Gipfel-Pizhou,China

Ginkgo Holz

>Ginkgo auf der Roten Liste

Neu: der Ginkgo SchmuckShop

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