Comparison of Redwood Species

Comparison of Dawn Redwood, Coast Redwood, and Giant Sequoia. From Chaney 1950; Munz 1959; Stebbins 1948. From NPS "The Giant Sequoia of the Sierra Nevada" updated 2007 


  Dawn Redwood
(Metasequoia
glyptostroboides)
Coast Redwood
(Sequoia sempervirens)
Giant Sequoia
(Sequoiadendron
giganteum)

Size Height-to 140 ft to about 370 ft to about 310 ft
  Diameter-to 6 ft to 16 ft to 35 ft
Leaves Needle-like two types; needle-like and awl-shaped awl-shaped
  with small stalk sessille sessile
  deciduous persistent persistent
Long
branchlets
Bear short shoots in opposite pairs bear short shoots in alternate array bear short shoots in alternate array
Short branchlets Leaves opposite leaves in spirals leaves in spirals
  leaves in two rows leaves in two rows except at tips leaves in spirals
Seed Cones About 1 inch long 0.75-1.50 inches long 2-3 inches long
  deciduous some persistent but open after first season persistent and may remain green 20 years
  scales opposite scales in spirals scales in spirals
  seeds in one row on each scale seeds in one row on each scale seeds in two rows on each scale
  mature in one season mature in one season mature in two seasons
Pollen Cones (staminate) scales opposite scales spiral scales spiral
Buds scaly scaly naked
Chromosomes 22 per diploid cell 66 per diploid cell 22 per diploid cell