Monday, April 26, 2010
Metasequoia glyptostroboides - Dawn Redwood
Metasequoia glyptostroboides: Metasequoia from meta meaning 'with', 'after', 'sharing' or 'changed in nature'; sequoia refers to the sequoia genus; glyptostroboides, for its resemblance to the genus Glyptostroboides.
This tree was known only in the fossil record until it was rediscovered in China in the 1940s. Fossils of this tree have also been found on the Pacific Coast. This is the tallest tree in China. Leaves are pinnately compound, paired opposite along branchlets with soft fern-like needles. Female cones resembling giant sequoia cones are about 1" long. They hang pendulous from long slender stalks. Scales open to release tiny brown seeds when the cones mature in late summer of the first year and can persist on the tree into winter. Incredible pink to orangey brown fall color. These conifers are deciduous. Gorgeous fibrous reddish brown bark with shallow fissures. Buttressed trunk.