Herb: Coastal Redwood

Latin name: Sequoia sempervirens

Synonyms: Taxodium sempervirens

Family: Taxodiaceae (Redwood Family)

Medicinal use of Coastal Redwood:

A poultice of the heated leaves has been used in the treatment of earaches. The gummy sap has been used as a stimulant and tonic in the treatment of rundown conditions.

Description of the plant:


110 m
(361 feet)

to April


Habitat of the herb:

Deep well-drained soils on flat land and slopes in the coastal fog belt below 600 metres.

Other uses of Coastal Redwood:

A brown dye is obtained from the bark. The bark and the wood contain tannin, but in too low a concentration for economic utilization. On a 10% moisture basis, the bark contains 4.4% tannin and the wood 2.5%. The sprouts from the burls have been used in making baskets. The plant develops a thick covering of a soft and fibrous bark (you can punch it hard without hurting your hand). This can be harvested without harm to the tree and used as an insulating or stuffing material. A fine bark dust that is produced whilst doing this is a good soil conditioner. This fibrous bark is also used for making paper. Branches can be harvested at any time of the year from logged trees, the bark is cut into useable pieces and soaked in clear water prior to cooking for 6 or more hours with lye. The fibres are beaten for six hours in a ball mill and the paper is a brown colour. Wood - straight-grained, knot-free, light, soft, not strong, very durable in contact with the soil. A high quality and easily worked lumber, it is used for joinery, fence posts, construction etc.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow early spring in a cold frame in light shade. Seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Germination rates are usually very low. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Plants will require some protection from the cold and spring frosts for their first year or two outdoors. If there are sufficient seeds, they can be sown in a lightly shaded outdoor bed in late March. Grow on the plants in the seedbed for two years before planting them out into their permanent positions in late autumn or early spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August/September in a frame. They form roots in winter or early spring. Pot them up into individual pots once the roots are developing nicely and plant them out in the summer if they are growing well. Otherwise grow them on for the next winter in a cold frame and plant them out in early summer.

Cultivation of Coastal Redwood:

Deep well-drained soils on flat land and slopes in the coastal fog belt below 600 metres.

Known hazards of Sequoia sempervirens:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.