Metasequoia glyptostroboides, also known as Dawn redwood or Water fir, is the last living species in its genus. It was considerd to be extinct for million of years. Only fossil remains showed that its history stretches back into the Age of Dinosaurs. Then in the 1940s it was rediscovered in the Sichuan-Hubei region in China. Since then it is a living fossile fast-growing, but still endangered.
Another special feature of the Dawn redwood tree is, that even if its a cone-bearing conifer, it is deciduous: it colors and sheds its leaves in the fall.
It’s the smallest of the three redwoods: it grows typically between 15 and 18 m (50 and 60 ft) and can grow to at least 60 meters (200 ft).
Since its rediscovery it’s a popular ornamental tree in parks and gardens worldwide. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.