Male and Female cones
leaves are bright-green, flat and needle-like,
12-30mm long. Some are in clusters on short shoots, whilst others grow
singly on long shoots. They turn a rich gold in autumn.
Larch is a deciduous,
up to 50 m high, with a greyish-brown bark, falling off in small plates.
It is widely planted but now is regenerating naturally from seed in
The male and female
flowers appear in April and grow separately on the same tree (monoecious),
but on the same branch. The females are loganberry
coloured. The males are yellow.
The upright, egg-shaped
cones are 2-3.5 cm
long and made up of 40-50 scales
and are hairy on the outside when young.
The closely related
Japanese larch (also planted) has leaves with two conspicuous
white lines beneath.
The timber is
prized for furniture-making, boat-building, wall-panelling and has
many other uses.
vulnerable to spring frost and larch canker is caused by a fungus,
which can kill the trees.
It is a native
of the mountains of Europe, introduced to Britain about 1620.