Sir: Your correspondent Paul Matheson (letter, 2 December) is not alone in drawing inspiration from the mysterious majesty of the ginkgo tree; Goethe had one in his garden at Weimar. The unusual bilobate shape of the leaf inspired the poet to wonder whether it represented one entity dividing itself for company or two entities seeking to become one:
Is it but one living creature
parting, not to be alone?
Are they two who choose each other
that they may as one be known?
The fine old tree was still standing in 1981 when I plucked a souvenir leaf from a lower branch.