Metasequoia

From Academic Kids

Dawn Redwood
Conservation status: Critical
Missing image
SJSU_Dawn_Redwood.JPG
Dawn Redwood on the campus of San Jose State


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Pinophyta
Class:Pinopsida
Order:Pinales
Family:Cupressaceae
Genus:Metasequoia
Species:M. glyptostroboides
Binomial name
Metasequoia glyptostroboides

The Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is a fast growing tree in the conifer family Cupressaceae native to the Sichuan-Hubei region of China. It is the only living species in the genus Metasequoia, but several fossil species are known.

Metasequoia was first described as a fossil from the Mesozoic Era, but in 1941 a small stand of an unidentified tree was discovered in China; due to the second world war, these were not studied further until 1944 and only finally described as a new living species of Metasequoia in 1948. In 1948 the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University sent an expedition to collect seeds and, soon after, seedling trees were distributed to various universities and arboreta worldwide for growth trials.

Missing image
MetaseqLeaves.jpg
Dawn Redwood foliage - note opposite arrangement

While the bark and foliage are similar to other redwoods, Metasequoia differs in that it is deciduous like the Bald Cypress (Taxodium), and like that, older specimens form wide buttresses on the lower trunk. It is a fast-growing tree to 40-45 m tall and 2 m trunk diameter. The leaves are opposite, 2-4 cm long, and bright fresh green, turning a foxy red-brown in fall. The cones are globose, 2-3 cm in diameter with 16-30 scales, arranged in opposite pairs in four rows, each pair at right angles to the adjacent pair.

It has proved an easy tree to grow in temperate regions, and is now widely planted as an ornamental tree.

da:Vandgran (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

de:Urweltmammutbaum eo:Metasekvojo fr:Mtasquoia ja:メタセコイア nl:Watercypres

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