Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 195 Larix decidua

Common Names: European larch Family: Pinaceae (pine Family)

A European larch tree in winter after shedding its foliage.
A European larch tree in winter after shedding its foliage.

Description

This large, graceful conifer was introduced from Europe and is now widely planted in the United States. It grows tall, from 70'-100', and can attain diameters up to 2'. It grows with a straight trunk and an open crown, becoming pyramid shaped with age. Its light green needles turn yellow before shedding in the fall. It bears small, upright brown cones.

Native to northern and central Europe, it occurs mainly on moist soils in temperate regions. It is most commonly found on the North American continent in southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

European larch foliage and cones
European larch foliage and cones

Location

Native to northern and central Europe, Larix decidua occurs mainly on moist soils in temperate regions. It is most commonly found on the North American continent in southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States.


Culture

Light: Full sunlight to partial shade. Moisture: Moist, well drained. Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 - 7. Propagation: Seedlings.
European larch

Usage

Most commonly grown in the United States as a handsome ornamental. Occasionally grown in plantations for forest products.

Features

In its native range, European larch is an important tree in the forest products trade. Its durable wood has many uses, including poles, posts, shipbuilding and construction lumber. It is also the source of an aromatic resin known as Venetian turpentine that has been used in medicine. This graceful conifer with its lovely pale green needles, turning golden before falling in autumn, makes it a great ornamental in cool moist locales.

Warning

Being an inhabitant of humid, temperate regions, it is not well suited to hotter climes such as the southern United States.

Steve Christman 12/09/97; updated 01/03/01



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Larix species profiled on Floridata:


Larix decidua

( European larch )

Larix kaempferi

( Japanese larch )

Larix laricina

( tamarack, American larch, eastern larch, hackmatack, black larch )

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