Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Raven' SHAW'S LEGACY
Common Name: dawn redwood
Type: Tree
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 70.00 to 100.00 feet
Spread: 25.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Street Tree, Rain Garden
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Wet Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Best grown in moist, humusy, well-drained soils in full sun. Best foliage color is in full sun. Appreciates consistent moisture. Tolerates some wet soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Metasequoia glyptostroboides, commonly called dawn redwood, is a deciduous, coniferous tree that grows in a conical shape to 100’ tall. It is related to and closely resembles bald cypress (Taxodium) and redwood (Sequoia). From fossil records, dawn redwood is known to have existed as many as 50,000,000 years ago. However, it was not until 1941 that it was first discovered growing in the wild near the town of Modaoqi, China by Chinese forester, T. Kan. Seeds collected from the original site were made available to the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1947. Seedlings grown therefrom were planted in front of the Lehmann Building at MBG in 1952 where they have now developed into large mature trees (70’+ tall). As the tree matures, the trunk broadens at the base and develops attractive and sometimes elaborate fluting. Bark on mature trees is often deeply fissured. It features linear, feathery, fern-like foliage that is soft to the touch. Foliage emerges light green in spring, matures to deep green in summer and turns red-bronze in fall. Trees are monoecious, producing oval, light brown female cones (3/4” long) and pendant globose male cones (1/2” long). The twigs, needles and cone scales are in opposite pairs.

Genus name comes from the Greek words metra meaning with, after, sharing, or changed in nature and Sequoia to which it is related and to which fossil specimens were first referred.

Specific epithet means resembling the genus Glyptostrobus.

'Raven is one of the 1952 trees planted in front of the Lehmann Building at MBG in 1952. It is distinguished from typical specimens of Metasequoia glyptostroboides in the following ways: (1) uniform pyramidal growth habit, (2) low branching habit with branches uniformly spaced, (3) deeply furrowed bark, (4) better resistance to foliar diseases, and (5) more vigorous growth rate. 'Raven' features soft, linear, feathery, fern-like, bluish-green to yellowish-green leaves that turn orange to red in fall. Trees will typically grow up to 3' each year, eventually maturing to 70-100’ tall. Cultivar name honors Dr. Peter Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden from 1971 to September 2010. SHAW'S LEGACY is a trade name that honors Henry Shaw (1800-1889) who founded the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1859. U.S. Plant Patent PP21,318.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

This large tree needs a large space. Excellent landscape specimen or street tree.