European Larch - Larix decidua
Tree to 35 metres with irregularly whorled branches, leaves in tufts on short lateral shoots, or spirally arranged on leading shoots, rather pale green,12 to 30 mm long that have inconspicuous greenish stripes on the undersurface . It has tall, ovoid cones with erect scales and yellow twigs.
The commonest confusion species are L. kaempferi and L. x marschlinsii, which have cones with patent scales that have recurved tips, and leaves with conspicuous whiteish stripes on the undersurface.
L. kaempferi - pink to red twigs with leaves 15 to 40 mm long and short ovoid cones
L. x marschlinsii - pink-orange-brownish twigs with leaves 40 to 50 mm long and mid-height ovoid cones.
Sometimes it is very difficult to identify material, but the tall cones, erect scales and shorter leaves of L. decidua are good characters. The hybrid can be very difficult to separate from the species.
Female cone-scales erect
Photo of cones and shoot; photo of whole tree
Various. Often found in plantations, but sometimes naturalised.
Widespread throughout Britain, often in plantations.
Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 172 of the 617 tetrads.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
Enter a town or village to see local records
Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015