Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Location and Notable Facts

  • Other names
    • Water Fir
    • Water-Larch
  • Scientific Family
    •  Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
  • Discovery
    •  Believed to be extinct until discovered in China in 1944. 
  • Size (Width/Height/Growth/DBH)
    •  Can grow to 100 feet in height.
  • Colors
    •  Deciduous dark green leaves in summer changing to a russet color in fall.
  • Bloom/Seed/Fruit
    •   A deciduous conifer producing small, round 1/2" to 1" cones. 

dawn redwood

Photo credit to University of Minnesota: The UFore Nursery & Lab

  • Leaf Arrangement 
    • Needle leaf deciduous trees with opposite attachment.

dawn redwood.2

Photo credit to Purdue University

  • Bark Arrangement 
    •  Reddish-Brown peeling rough bark.


Photo credit to Franklin & Marshall College

  • Invasive/Non-invasive
    •  Non-invasive
  • Native/Non-native
    •  Non-native; introduced from China to the United States in the late 1940s. 
  • Pests/Disease
    •  None
  • Comparisons to similar trees
    • Bald Cypress
    • Dawn Redwood has opposite leaf arrangement Bald Cypress has alternate leaf arrangement. 
    • Bald Cypress will produce knees, if grown in wet areas. Dawn Redwood will not. 
  • Usefulness
    •  Ornamental; used in place of Bald Cypress where knees may occur
  • Local Location / History:  
  • The main entrance to the CHI St. Vincent Hospital
  • Dawn Redwood is a living fossil. Thought to have been extinct until 1944 when it was discovered growing in China.