This extremely old species, with its characteristic leaves, is considered to be a living fossil and is no longer found in the wild. The tree is worshipped as a god in Asia. The Ginkgo in the Hortus was planted in 1785 and is one of the oldest specimens in the Netherlands. The tree symbolises hope, love, timelessness and a long life. Like this Japanese maidenhair tree, Carel Stolker has firm roots in Leiden. For inspiration, he spent midsummer night in the Hortus in 2013, on a bed in the open air, near the much-loved Ginkgo.