Sequoia sempervirens (Lamb. ex D. Don) Endl.
Coast redwood, giant sequoia, giant redwood, California redwood
California redwoods, native to portions of California and Oregon along the west coast of North America, are the only living species remaining of genus Sequoia. They live for a long time, up to 2,200 years.
Interested in the oldest trees? Check this Wired magazine article.
Plants: Redwoods reach 377' (115 m), the tallest trees on Earth, and may reach 26' (8 m) in diameter. Even the bark can be 12" (30 cm) thick. The bark is red-brown and deeply furrowed. Tree size and the restricted natural location of these majestic trees serve to identify them.
Leaves: The leaves (needles) are ¹/₃₂-1" (1-30 mm) long, and occur in different groups depending on their age. Older leaves tend to subdivide into smaller and smaller branches, while younger ones resemble hemlock, occurring in closely-spaced, flattened, opposing pairs.
Fruits: Cones are oval in shape, ½-1¼" (1.5-3.2 cm), with 15-25 spirally arranged scales.
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|Plant||Up to 377' (115 m) tall, living up to 2,200 years.||164-279' (50-85 m) tall.||Up to 148' (45 m) high, up to 6½' (2 m) in diameter.|
|Leaves||¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-6 mm) long, arranged in spiral whorls.|
|Stem||Bark up to 12" (30 cm) thick at base.||Bark, up to 3' (91 cm) thick at the bottom of the tree, is fibrous and furrowed.||Bark reddish brown when young, becoming fissured an gray.|
|Fruit||Oval, ½-1¼" (1.5-3.2 cm), with 15-25 spirally arranged scales.||Cones are 1½-2½" (4-7 cm) long.||Cones are ½-⅞" (1.5-2.5 cm) in diameter, with 16-28 scales.|
The Gymnosperm Database
The Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site
Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
The Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
The USDA Forest Service's Silvics of North America site
The USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Sequoia sempervirens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.