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A Guide to the Giant Sequoias of Yosemite National Park (1949) by James W. McFarland


THE REDWOOD FAMILY

Although the dawn redwood has been placed in a new family, the Metasequoiaceae, with its one living species Metasequoia glyptostroboides, there are many things concerning all three species that still puzzle scientists. It may be many years before there is any prospect of agreement as to their natural relationships. For our consideration we shall place them all in the redwood family, Taxodiaceae.

This family is characterized by ancient lineage, peculiar modern distribution, and isolation of various species. The different genera which compose the family are widely scattered about the earth and are mostly very restricted in habitat. There are nine different genera, each with from one to three species:

Sequoia gigantea, giant sequoia. This species is found in the Sierra Nevada of California. Sequoia sempervirens, coast redwood. This species is found on the coast of California and southern Oregon.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides, dawn redwood. Only one living species, deciduous, found in Szechuan and Hupeh provinces in China.

Taxodium distichum and T. mucronatum, bald cypress. Two species; deciduous: the former located in the southeastern United States and the latter in Mexico.

Cryptomeria japonica, Japanese cedar. One species, native to Japan.

Sciadopitys verticillata, umbrella pine. One species, native to Japan.

Cunninghamia lanceolata, common China fir. One species, native to Japan.

Athrotaxis. Three species, native to Tasmania and the Island of Victoria.

Glyptostrobus, China cypress. Two species, deciduous, found in China.

Taiwania cryptomerioides. One species, native to mountains of Formosa and southwestern China.


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