Family: Pinaceae
Common Name: Larch

Native to the colder areas of the northern hemi­sphere, this genus comprises ten species of deciduous, fast-growing conifers which can be distinguished from Cedrus, which looks simi­lar, by their small, linear leaves, mostly in dense rosettes, and their small, many-scaled cones. These fairly large trees are grown for their grace­ful form and attractive, needle-like foliage, and are cultivated for their strong, durable timber. The leaves colour yellow in autumn, before falling. Larches are suited to cold and cool parts of the UK but not to warm climates. They are too large for ordinary, private gardens.


L. decidua (Synonym: L. europaea), European larch, from the mountainous areas of central Europe, grows to 30 m (100 ft) or more, with a pyramidal crown and light green leaves.

L. kaempferi, Japanese larch, is a large, vigorous tree, growing 30 m (100 ft) tall, with a spread of 10 m (33 ft). It has soft, needle-like leaves in gray-green to blue-green and is popular in suitable climates.

L. laricina, tamarack, from North America, is a small to medium conifer, 18-25 m (60-80 ft) tall, with bright green leaves.


If the climate is suitable, these trees have no particular requirements. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Propagate from seed, which germinates readily.


Zone 4 for most. Zone 2 for L. laricina.

Lapageria      Latania