Metasequoia glyptostroboides seed (Dawn Redwood)


A glorious living fossil from Central China. Deciduous evergreen with lovely dark cinnamon bark and buttressed boles. Takes on a pyramidal form when young then flat topped when mature. Adaptable to many landscapes.

1 in stock


Thought to be extinct until the discovery in 1944 of a small community of trees  in Central China’s Sichuan province. An amazing deciduous evergreen has a distinct feel of being from a different time.  Its most notable feature is the buttressed trunk base which starts developing on young trees. Lovely mid green foliage turns bronze before dropping in late October. Dramatic pollen catkins clothe the plant then drop when their purpose is done.

Fast growing, it does surprisingly well in standing water enough so it was called “shui-sa”, or water fir by the locals. Major seed shipments in 1948 were sent to botanical gardens and universities for conservation world wide. If you ever go to a botanical garden and see towering specimens of this living fossil, more than likely it was grown from one of these seed shipments. Since then the knowledge base on these trees has increased dramatically. Dirr comments on its ornamental use in a wide array of landscape environments attesting to its hardiness and adaptability.

A must read:

  • Seed Count: 40-45
  • Collection Date: Nov 2023
  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Height and Width: 30m
  • Habitat: full to semi sun; well draining humus rich acidic moist soils.
  • Family: Taxodiaceae

How to germinate Metasequoia glyptostroboides seed

Easy to germinate, but does best with a brief 14 day cold stratification period. Cold stratify by adding some moist coarse silica sand to the seed. Put in resealable baggie, put in fridge (2C), mark the calendar.  Sow by preparing well draining moisture retentive acidic medium in a pot 15cm or deeper. Spread stratified seed-sand mix on surface and mist into medium.  Needs plastic cover to retain moisture and mist daily. NEVER LET DRY. Should start germinating in 2-3 weeks at 22C. Give seedlings strong indirect light. Easy to transplant, performs best in moist, well-drained, slightly acid soils.

Additional information

Weight 2 g