The Many Faces of the Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba, is one of the best-known examples of a living fossil dating back 270 million years.  The "maidenhair" tree was nearly wiped out with the ice age, everywhere except in China.  Buddhist monks cultivated this tree and planted them near monasteries and temples high up in the mountains.  For centuries it has been used for its medicinal and edible properties.  The nuts can be roasted and are considered a delicacy, though are poisonous unless cooked in the correct way.  Extracts from the leaves are used as herbal supplements as treatments for a variety of health problems.  Ginkgo leaves contain antioxidants such as flavonoids and terpenoids, but it can also be turned into a beautiful lei.  

In this case, I found myself in New York City, walking the pathways in Central Park.  The tree taking on the deep saffron yellow of Autumn inspired this Ginko biloba leaf lei.  I began picking up the leaves and putting them in my purse.  Many people stopped and asked what I was doing, some just looked baffled, but I carried on.  I proceeded to create while waiting for a friend to finish work and the Gingko lei came to life.  The amount of attention was astounding and people were shocked it was made out of a plant let alone a leaf and tree that many were familiar with and constantly surrounded by.  The lei was passed around the city night life and all recipients became connected via one lei.