Dienstag, 10. Mai 2011

Plant of the Day (May 10th, 2011) - Metasequoia glyptostroboides Hu et Cheng

Metasequoia glyptostroboides Hu et Cheng is a conifer from the family of the Cupressacea. In english it's known as “Dawn Redwood”; in German as “Urweltmamutbaum”. I photographed this one in the botanical garden of Solingen, Western Germany. It's the only recent species of the Genus Metasequoia.

M. glyptostroboides - habitus

It's a very tall tree and between 30 and 35 metres (98,4 – 117,8 feet) high. Young trees have a red or reddish-brown bark; the bark of older trees is grey. The flat needles have green or blue-green needles. The flat needles have a blue-green top and a light green underside. They sit on short shoots, which sit on opposite sides along the long shoots

The mature female cones are brown and almost spherical. They sit at the end of a long stem. The Cones are similar to the cones of Sequoia sempervirens D. Don Endl.

M. glyptostroboides - branches

The species is endemic in China, where it occurs only in some small and scattered populations (e. g. in the regions of Shizhu, Hubei or Sangzhi). The species was discovered in 1941. Until this year, scientist had believed, that this species would have been extinct. Today however, M. glyptostroboide is also more frequently planted as an ornamental or park tree.

M. glyptostroboides is a tree of mountainous regions (750 – 3500 metres). It grows in warm, humid and bright mountain forests or canyons. The species likes dry, sandy soils without waterlogging, which are rich of nutrients.

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