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Plants: Species

Sequoia: Giant Sequoia or Big Tree Sequoiadendron giganteum


The giant sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum often shares the spotlight with the coast redwood Sequoia sempervirens, although the giant sequoia grows slightly smaller (only 325 feet!) and is hardier to cold and has more dense foliage.

Although this species was popularly recognized in 1833, it took 20 years before it had a name: Wellingtonia gigantea, named by English botanist John Lindley after Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. This sparked a storm of protest from American botanists, who were outraged that the tree would be named after an English war hero. Eventually American botanists John Buccholz named it Sequoiadendron giganteum, and the name has stuck since then.

Redwoods, both the Sequoia sp. and the Sequoiadendron sp., are California's state tree.