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Three Conifers South of the Chang

Articles: Three Conifers South of the Chang

…as those who have recently travelled in China's wild places will know, the erosion of her forest, first noted and lamenated by Augustine Henry and others a hundred years or more ago, continues unabated and its future should be the concern of us all.
Roy Lancaster, Travels in China: A Plantsman's Paradise

Several years ago I planted in my garden a dawn redwood purchased from Bay Area nurseryman Toichi Domoto. I was curious about its deciduous nature (unusual for a conifer) and its similarity to the coast redwoods near my home. To my surprise, it grew rapidly—several feet a year—and was outstanding throughout the seasons. At the time, I knew only fragments of the history and discovery of this remarkable tree. Over the years, I read bits and pieces, learning that, more than twenty million years ago, it was widespread in the Northern Hemisphere and, until recently, was thought to be extinct (see Pacific Horticulture, Summer ‘92). It is a member of the bald cypress or redwood family (Taxodiaceae) along with California’s two redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens and Sequoiadendron giganteum. Fossils of it have been found from the late Cretaceous period through to the Pliocene.

First dis...


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