Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
A conifer of great interest to botanists as it is the only living member of a genus, which before 1944 was only described from fossils. It was discovered by Chinese scientists in 1941 and seeds were sent a few years later to the Arnold Arboretum from where it was distributed through N. America and Europe.
Leaves are similar to Taxodium distichum but branchlets and leaves are in opposite pairs. They turn beautiful reddish brown in autumn before falling.
Pollen and Seed Cones
Male cones have not yet been seen in Britain. Females are about 6mm long, produced when leaves first emerge.
Mature cones are about 18mm to 25mm long, ripening their first year to dark brown.