The Alpine Larch


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Alpine Larch
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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide


ALPINE LARCH
Larix lyallii

  • Subalpine Larch, Tamarack, or Lyall Larch (after David Lyall a Scottish naturalist)

UNIQUE FEATURES:

  • The Alpine Larch is often dwarfed or contorted, and smaller and more ragged than the Western Larch
  • The Alpine Larchhas a dense, cottony hair that covers the young twigs and buds and turns black after several years
  • Like all larches it has deciduous foliage (needles) but drops them in the fall like leaves
  • The Alpine Larch is known for its spectacular showing of spring and autumn colours

LOCATION:

  • The Alpine Larch is found in mountainous areas in the southeastern and southern parts of the province
  • It can grow in very cold areas with only rocky or gravelly soils, so it's often found near the treeline

SIZE:

  • The Alpine Larch grows to about 15 metres in height

CONES:

  • The seed cones are small and egg-shaped and reddish-yellow to purple when young. The pollen cones are yellow in colour

Alpinela.Gif
NEEDLES:

  • Grow in clusters of 30 to 40, and are sparse, 4 sided, and bluish-green; turning gold in the fall

BARK:

  • Thin, deeply grooved, with reddish to purplish-brown scales that flake

USES:

  • The young twigs of the Alpine Larch can be made into a soup for emergency survival

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The Alpine Larch