Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Larix laricina (DuRoi) K. Koch.
- Family: Pine (Pinaceae)
- Fruits: Summer and Autumn
- Field Marks: This tree is distinguished by its deciduous leaves, small cones, and leaves
borne several in a cluster.
- Habitat: Swamps, bogs.
- Habit: Medium to large tree to 100 feet tall, with a narrowly pyramidal crown; trunk diameter up to 1 1/2 feet; bark reddish brown, broken into scales.
- Twigs: Slender, light brown or orange, smooth; buds spherical, reddish brown, up to 1/8 inch in diameter; leaf scars alternate, elevated, borne on short spurs, with 1 bundle trace.
- Leaves: Needles numerous in clusters, soft, up to about 1 1/2 inches long, light green, falling away during the autumn.
- Reproductive Structures: Male spherical, yellow, usually not subtended by leaves; female oblong, rose-colored, usually subtended by leaves.
- Fruits: Cones erect, oblongoid, woody, up to 3/4 inch long, chestnut-brown; seeds with a wing about twice as long as the body.
- Notes: This tree is also known as tamarack. Its hard, orange-brown wood is used for fence posts, railroad ties, and interior finishing. This species is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
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