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Vascular Plants of California
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Sequoia sempervirens

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CupressaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Shrub, tree, generally evergreen; monoecious or dioecious. Leaf: simple, cauline, alternate or opposite (either +- 4-ranked) or whorled in 3s (6-ranked), linear or scale-, awl- or needle-like (sometimes linear and awl-like on 1 pl, or on juvenile or injured plants), generally decurrent, covering young stems. Pollen Cone: axillary or terminal. Seed Cone: +- fleshy to generally woody, generally hard at maturity; scales opposite or whorled, peltate or not. Seed: 1--many per scale, angled or lateral winged, generally wind-dispersed. Chromosomes: n=11.
Genera In Family: 30 genera, 130+ species: +- worldwide, especially North America, Eurasia. Note: Incl (paraphyletic) Taxodiaceae. Taxa of (polyphyletic) Cupressus in TJM (1993) now in Callitropsis, Chamaecyparis, Hesperocyparis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Jim A. Bartel, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SequoiaView Description 

Common Name: REDWOOD

Etymology: (John Lockhart has indicated (7 Jul 2004 Interchange Feedback) that, according to Asa Gray, no one has ever found, in the writings of Endlicher (author of the genus name Sequoia), any mention of Sequoyah, the Cherokee chief for whom the genus Sequoia is often said to have been named (in Cherokee, "sequoyah" means "opossum"), and that Gray instead believed that the stem of the word was a derivation from the Latin "sequi" or "sequor," meaning "sequence" or "following," in reference to the fact that redwoods were remnants or followers of numerous fossil ancestors.)
eFlora Treatment Author: Steve Boyd & James R. Griffin
Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.
Habit: Tree, plant generally sprouting vigorously from base if cut, from entire crown if burned. Stem: trunk < 110 m, to 9 m diam; old crown narrowly conic to +- cylindric, generally unbranched in lower 1/2; bark < 30 cm thick near base, fibrous, ridged, red-brown; branches downswept to +- ascending; twigs persistent < 4 years. Leaf: alternate, green < 3 years, persistent < 4; of 2 kinds, those on sprouting, rapidly growing, or fertile stems appressed, not ranked, < 8 mm, awl-like, others spreading, +- 2-ranked, 5--25 mm, linear (to lance-linear), generally flat. Pollen Cone: 2--5 mm, +- spheric to ovoid. Seed Cone: 13--35 mm, +- spheric, woody, maturing in 1 year, persistent < 2; scales peltate, fused to bracts. Seed: 2--7 per scale, 3--6 mm, wings 2, narrow, lateral. Chromosomes: n=33.
Ecology: Redwood forest; Elevation: < 1100 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, w KR, NCoRO, w NCoRI, n&c CCo, SnFrB, n SCoRO; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon. Note: Tallest trees in North America.
Jepson eFlora Author: Steve Boyd & James R. Griffin
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Jepson Video for Sequoia sempervirens

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Botanical illustration including Sequoia sempervirens

botanical illustration including Sequoia sempervirens

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Citation for this treatment: Steve Boyd & James R. Griffin 2012, Sequoia sempervirens, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 19, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 19, 2024.

Sequoia sempervirens
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©2009 Neal Kramer
Sequoia sempervirens
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©2019 Neal Kramer
Sequoia sempervirens
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©2016 Neal Kramer
Sequoia sempervirens
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©2018 Neal Kramer
Sequoia sempervirens
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©2019 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Sequoia sempervirens
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sequoia sempervirens:
NCo, w KR, NCoRO, w NCoRI, n&c CCo, SnFrB, n SCoRO
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).