Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood)
Origin: Central and W. China
Location: Beside Visitor Centre pond
Metasequoia was originally reported as an extinct genus, based only on widely distributed fossils over 100 million years old, until 1943 when small populations were discovered in central China. The tree is critically endangered in the wild, but has now been planted extensively in arboreta, parks and gardens worldwide. It is a deciduous conifer, with reddish-brown fibrous bark and soft, pale green ferny foliage which turns coppery-pink and russet-brown in autumn. It is fast-growing, makes an excellent specimen tree and is tolerant of waterlogging.Thanks to Maggie Gowland for photographs.