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giant sequoia:see sequoiasequoia
, name for the redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and for the big tree, or giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), both huge, coniferous evergreen trees of the bald cypress family, and for extinct related species.
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(Sequoiadendron giganteum), also big tree, a coniferous evergreen of the family Taxodiaceae. The giant sequoia reaches heights greater than 100 m and lives up to 1,500 years (according to other data, up to 3,000 or 4,000 years). The straight, well-shaped trunk measures as much as 10 m in diameter. In old trees the lower part of the trunk is branchless. The dense crown is conical and rounded. The bark is brown in mature trees and reddish in young trees. The leaves (needles) are gray-green, spirally arranged, narrowly lanceolate, and concave above. The ovate, woody cones, which develop at the tips of the lateral shoots, are 5–7.5 cm long and 3–4.5 cm wide. Initially green, they turn brown when the seeds mature. The cones mature in the second year, remaining on the tree after the seeds fall out. The seeds are flat and have a membranous wing.
The giant sequoia grows in California, at elevations of 1,450–2,500 m on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The largest natural groves of the trees have been designated as preserves. Some of the tallest trees have been given their own names.
The sequoia tree is ornamental and has been cultivated in parks and gardens of Southern and Central Europe. In the USSR it is raised in the southern Crimea, Middle Asia, the Caucasus, and Transcarpathia.
REFERENCESDerev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Kammeyer, H. F. Mammulbäume. Ziemsen, 1960. (Die neue Brehm-Bücherei, fasc. 256.)
V. N. GLADKOVA