dawn redwood

dawn redwood

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Coniferous, nonevergreen tree (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), the only living species of the genus Metasequoia, of the family Taxodiaceae, native to remote valleys of central China.

Both branchlets and leaves grow out in pairs from points along the stem. The bright green, feathery leaves turn reddish brown in autumn. Though Metasequoia fossils are abundant, the tree was thought to be extinct until living specimens were discovered in the 1940s. Only a few thousand are known to have survived, in central China. Since these stands were discovered, seeds and cuttings have been planted throughout the world.

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      genus of conifers (conifer) represented by a single living species, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, from central China. fossil representatives, such as M. occidentalis, dated to about 90 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period, are known throughout the middle and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Climatic cooling and drying that began about 65.5 million years ago and continued throughout the Cenozoic Era caused the geographic range of the dawn redwood to contract to its present relic distribution. The leaves (leaf) are arranged in pairs on deciduous branchlets, and this deciduous character probably accounts for the tree's abundance in the fossil record. Metasequoia is closely related to the redwood genera of North America, Sequoia and Sequoiadendron.

      The dawn redwood holds an interesting place in the history of paleobotany as one of the few living plants known first as a fossil. Its fossil foliage and cones (cone) were originally described under the name Sequoia. In 1941, Japanese botanist Miki Shigeru of Osaka University coined the name Metasequoia for fossil foliage with opposite, rather than spirally arranged, leaves. The first living Metasequoia trees were discovered in 1944 by Chinese botanist Wang Zhan in Sichuan province, China. Today, M. glyptostroboides is a common ornamental tree that grows well in temperate climates worldwide.

Nan Crystal Arens

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • dawn redwood — n. a coniferous Chinese tree (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) of the baldcypress family, resembling the redwood of California but having deciduous twigs and needles: it is now propagated in the U.S …   English World dictionary

  • dawn redwood — tikroji metasekvoja statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Taksodinių šeimos dekoratyvinis augalas (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), paplitęs Kinijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Metasequoia glyptostroboides angl. dawn redwood; water fir vok. chinesische… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • dawn redwood — metasekvoja statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Taksodinių (Taxodiaceae) šeimos augalų gentis (Metasequoia). atitikmenys: lot. Metasequoia angl. dawn redwood; water fir vok. chinesische Sumpfzypresse; sommergrüner Mammutbaum; Wassertanne rus.… …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

  • dawn redwood — dawn′ red′wood n. pln metasequoia …   From formal English to slang

  • dawn redwood — noun Date: 1948 a metasequoia (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) of China resembling the coast redwood but having deciduous foliage …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dawn redwood — noun a coniferous tree with deciduous needles, known only as a fossil until it was found growing in SW China in 1941. [Metasequoia glyptostroboides.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • dawn redwood — noun large fast growing Chinese monoecious tree having flat bright green deciduous leaves and small globular cones; commonly cultivated in United States as an ornamental; known as a fossil before being discovered in China • Syn: ↑metasequoia,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Redwood — may refer to:* Family Cupressaceae (conifers) ** Sequoia sempervirens Coast Redwood ** Sequoiadendron giganteum Giant Sequoia or Sierra Redwood ** Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn Redwood ** Cryptomeria japonica Sugi* Family Pinaceae (conifers)… …   Wikipedia

  • dawn cypress — or dawn redwood noun A conifer, abundant as a fossil, found growing in China in the 1940s and since planted widely • • • Main Entry: ↑dawn …   Useful english dictionary

  • redwood — redwood1 /red wood /, n. 1. a coniferous tree, Sequoia sempervirens, of California, noted for its great height, sometimes reaching to more than 350 ft. (107 m): the state tree of California. 2. its valuable brownish red timber. 3. a red colored… …   Universalium

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