Monarch butterfly

About the Dawn Redwood

In the age of the dinosaurs, it is believed that redwood trees were bountiful. However, today, only 15 species of redwoods remain. The dawn redwood is the last surviving member of the genus “metasequoia.” Although this species is smaller than its relatives (the Coast Redwood and the Giant Redwood), it can still reach as much as 100 feet tall when fully grown. Its bark and foliage are also similar to other redwood species, but unlike these species, the dawn redwood is a deciduous conifer, meaning its bright green needles turn a reddish-brown and fall to the ground in autumn.

Currently, it is unlikely that the dawn redwood will become extinct thanks to its introduction to botanical collections around the world. However, this species is still considered “endangered” by the IUCN, and conservation measures continue to be a high priority in China, where land-use changes are threatening the only known native population.

Dawn Redwood at the Akron Zoo

Dawn redwood can be found growing in Legends of the Wild at the Akron Zoo.