The Dawn Redwood; living up to its name this morning. View Metasequoia glyptostroboides as the sun is rising and casting rays on the autumnal tints of pink and yellow throughout the canopy. It stood out amongst the colder greens of the associated plants in the border to the west of the Caledonian Hall giving a red hue to the plant.
Thought to be extinct it was known from fossil records and subsequently living plants were discovered in 1941. Native to C. and W. China where it grows on valley floors and at the bottom of ravines, rare on the valley floors due to clearances for rice cultivation.
The seed of this tree was collected in autumn 1947 in N.E. Sichuan Province by C.J. Hsueh. During three expeditions 100 trees were noted, the seed was taken from trees 30metres tall. These arrived at RBGE in 1948 via the Arnold Arboretum. The branches are set into deep sockets in the trunk which is colonised by moss and a grey farinose hue. The trunk becomes almost buttressed at the base and fissured.
Another Redwood introduction from this year (1948) is planted to the south of the pond, this foliage has turned fully autumnal and much of the leaf has fallen. Garden origin accessions from 1991 planted in the east gate driveway are still green.
Note also the Wisteria sp. in the garden on the wall of the east gate lodge these are a mass of margarine yellow foliage.