Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) was unknown until about 60 years ago, when it was discovered in the form of fossils collected by paleobotanists.
At the time, the tree was thought to have been extinct for perhaps a million years. One year later, Dawn Redwood was discovered alive and well in the remote village of Motao-chi in the Chinese province of Szechwan.
A Boston arboretum sent a special expedition to the area. The seeds collected were shared with other botanical gardens around the world, and this deciduous conifer is now widely available.