Discover Trengwaintons tongue-twisting tree

Back from the dead: Metasequoia glyptostrobo├»des was thought to be extinct © National Trust/Marina Rule

Back from the dead: Metasequoia glyptostroboïdes was thought to be extinct

Trengwainton’s Veitchii garden is a shady patch with a profusion of wild flowers in spring. The garden takes its name from Magnolia Peter Veitch, a fast-growing hybrid that bears a profusion of white flowers, flushed with pink.

Horticultural heroes
Peter Veitch came from a renowned family of nurserymen who established the famous Veitch Nursery at Exeter. His grandfather, James Veitch, was one of the first men to initiate the exploration of countries in the Far East for new plants. He sponsored plant hunters who went on to become horticultural heroes.

Metasequoia glyptostroboïdes teaser
Near the Magnolia Peter Veitch is a Dawn redwood. Attempting to pronounce its botanical name - Metasequoia glyptostroboïdes - is likely to get your tongue in a twist.

The ancient Dawn redwood was thought to be extinct, being found only in fossils. Then, in the 1940s, living specimens were found in China and the tree was grown from the first seeds brought to England in 1947.

The story behind the Drimys winteri
Until 2007, the Veitchii garden was dominated by a fine Drimys winteri. The evergreen Drimys was discovered in Tierra del Fuego by Captain William Winter, one of Sir Francis Drake’s commanders. It is said he boiled the leaves and gave the tea to his crew to prevent scurvy.

Unfortunately the tree was lost to disease, but the intriguing story behind its discovery lives on.