Shade Metals

Species Specific Botanical Jewelry

tree

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

Sara & Cesar

NATIVE RANGE:

Indian Subcontinent & South Asia to Northern Australia

DESCRIPTION:

Colorful pink and purple long-lasting blooms, slender trunks with shedding bark, simple, opposite leaves.

Crepe Myrtle, Lagerstroemia ID 34836954 © Twoellis | Dreamstime.com.jpg

Crepe Myrtle, Lagerstroemia ID 34836954 © Twoellis | Dreamstime.com.jpg

crepe-myrtle-bronze-necklace.jpg
crepe-myrtle-bronze-earrings.jpg

Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Sara & Cesar

NATIVE RANGE:

Hubei, China

DESCRIPTION:

A tall deciduous conifer with an iconic Christmas-tree profile. It is a deciduous conifer, its bright green needle leaves turn orange and fall off before winter. In China it is commonly called the “water-pine” because it grows in drenched lowlands.

Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia Glyptostroboides ID 64079307 © Chen Li | Dreamstime.com.jpg

Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia Glyptostroboides ID 64079307 © Chen Li | Dreamstime.com.jpg

dawn redwood leaves coens ID 76715187 © Ian Redding | Dreamstime.com.jpg

dawn redwood leaves coens ID 76715187 © Ian Redding | Dreamstime.com.jpg

dawn redwood bark ID 100322350 © Zayacskz | Dreamstime.com.jpg

dawn redwood bark ID 100322350 © Zayacskz | Dreamstime.com.jpg

LIVING FOSSILS:

Dawn redwoods once grew all over the northern hemisphere, and their closest relatives are the redwoods on the Pacific Coast of North America. North America’s redwoods are Sequoias, this Redwood is the Metasequoia, meaning changed Sequoia.

Scientists believed that they had been extinct for millions of years, they could only find fossil remnants of it. That was until the 1940’s when a Chinese forester discovered them growing in a single forest in Lichuan Province, Hubei China. These dawn redwoods were growing in the lowlands, often in standing water were rice was cultivated. Locals called them 水杉, the “water fir.” Seeds and cuttings were soon collected and exchanged, and the baby trees were distributed worldwide to help regenerate the population.

Because dawn redwoods loose their leaves in winter, they are able to grow in much colder temperatures than other redwoods. Young seedlings have survived in harsh conditions in Alaska, Europe and North America, hinting that their original range probably included icy climates.

IDENTIFICATION:

Height: Most 50-60 ft (15-18 meters), but it can reach up to 165 ft (50m)

Profile: Christmas tree

Leaves: Feathery soft needle leaves

Cones: Both male and female cones on the tree, larger globe-shaped female seed cones (3/4 inch long), smaller male drooping pollen cones.

Bark: Reddish brown, peels in long strips

Where to find in Richmond VA: Along Monument Avenue near the I-95 exchange, Maymont Park, Sneeds Nursery.


Coast Redwood, sequoia sempervirens, dreamstime_xxl_39896018.jpg

Coast Redwood, sequoia sempervirens, dreamstime_xxl_39896018.jpg

WHY “DAWN” REDWOOD?

Coastal Redwoods and Giant Sequoias are the only cousins of Dawn Redwoods. These sequoias are significant actors in the biomes of the Pacific Northwest. They not only support a huge amount of wildlife, they can influence weather patterns, draw thousands of tourists every month, and they hold the record for the largest organism on the earth. While not the oldest organism on earth, one particular Giant Sequoia in Redwood National Forest is 3,240 years old, born in 1221 B.C.E.

Sequoias are incredible, so when the Metasequoia was discovered in China, Californians were among the first to pay attention. A U.C. Berkeley professor and a science writer for the San Francisco Chronicle travelled to China and were the first westerners to see the tree. U.C. Berkeley funded a seed dispersal project to help spread the tree to botanical gardens, universities and colleges throughout the world. And the name Dawn Redwood was thought up in an editorial office of the San Francisco Chronicle to help sell the story.

Elm, Red (Ulmus rubra)

Sara & CesarComment

NATIVE RANGE:

Eastern North America

DESCRIPTION:

Medium sized deciduous tree with a vase-like profile and elegant spreading crown. The inner bark is reddish-brown, and the young emerging leaves are often tinged red before they hit the deep green of summer.

Elm, ulmus rubra dreamstime_xxl_90910671.jpg

Elm, ulmus rubra dreamstime_xxl_90910671.jpg

elm tree proile - 1.jpg

IDENTIFICATION:

Height: Up tp 65 ft (20 meters)

Profile: Vase-like

Leaves: Toothy, serrated leaves that are asymmetrical at the stem, growing alternately along the branch.

Fruit: Wingless samaras

Bark: Gray to brown, with deep furrows separating wider flat regions.

Elms in general are quite easy to identify by their asymmetrical leaves. Notice the bottom of the leaves in this photo, all varieties of elms display this characteristic. In fall and winter look around the base of the tree to see if there are any old leaves to look at, it’s a tell-tale quirk of the Elm genus, ulmus.

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Elm trees in NYC Central Park dreamstime_xxl_27291728 copy.jpg

Elm trees in NYC Central Park dreamstime_xxl_27291728 copy.jpg

NYC CENTRAL PARK ELMS:

The only straight path in Central Park leads visitors down Literary Walk, a promenade flanked by graceful American elms trees. There are over 2000 elms of different varieties in the park, and this particular grove of American elms is one of the oldest and largest left in North America. Elms were a favorite of urban plannersin the 19th and 20th centuries because of the cathedral-like ceilings they form when planted on opposite sides of the street. So when Dutch Elm disease hit in the 1930’s, elms in every city and town across the country began to die off. This stand was protected by the park’s vigilant arborists, who carefully monitor the trees and regularly amputate infected limbs.

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