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Pinus microcarpa


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Family Pinaceae

Trees or rarely shrubs , evergreen or deciduous, monoecious. Branchlets often dimorphic : long branchlets with clearly spirally arranged , sometimes scalelike leaves; short branchlets often reduced to slow growing lateral spurs bearing dense clusters of leaves at apex. Leaves solitary or in bundles of (1 or) 2-5(-8) when basally subtended by a leaf sheath ; leaf blade linear or needlelike, not decurrent. Cones unisexual . Pollen cones solitary or clustered, with numerous spirally arranged microsporophylls ; microsporophyll with 2 microsporangia; pollen usually 2-saccate (nonsaccate in Cedrus, Larix, Pseudotsuga, and most species of Tsuga) . Seed cones erect or pendulous, maturing in 1st, 2nd, or occasionally 3rd year, dehiscent or occasionally indehiscent, with many spirally arranged ovulate scales and bracts; ovulate scales usually smaller than bracts at pollination, with 2 upright ovules adaxially, free or only basally adnate with bracts, maturing into seed scales. Seed scales appressed , woody or leathery, variable in shape and size, with 2 seeds adaxially, persistent or deciduous after cone maturity. Bracts free or adnate basally with seed scales, well developed or rudimentary , exserted or included . Seeds terminally winged (except in some species of Pinus) . Cotyledons 2-18. Germination hypogeal or epigeal. 2n = 24* (almost always) .

Ten or eleven genera and ca. 235 species: N hemisphere; ten genera (two endemic) and 108 species (43 endemic, 24 introduced ) in China.

Species of the Pinaceae are among the most valuable and commercially important plants in the world. Most species are trees, and are often excellent sources of lumber, wood products, and resins; many are cultivated for afforestation and as ornamentals .[1]

Genus Larix

Trees deciduous; crown sparse, open. Bark silver-gray to gray-brown on young trees, becoming reddish brown to brown, smooth initially, scaly to thickened and furrowed with age. Branches whorled ; short (spur) shoots prominent on twigs 2 years or more old, each bearing leaves (needles ), and often pollen cone, or seed cone; lateral long shoots (sylleptic branches) sometimes produced by current-year growth increments ; leaf scars many. Buds rounded . Leaves in tufts of 10--60 on short (spur) shoots or borne singly on 1st-year long shoots, deciduous, ± flattened, with abaxial keel, sessile, base decurrent, sheath absent, apex pointed or rounded; resin canals 2. Pollen cones solitary, ovoid-cylindric, yellowish. Seed cones maturing in 1 season , persisting several years, erect , globose to ovoid , usually terminal on short shoots and thus appearing stalked , sometimes sessile on 1-year-old long shoots; scales persistent , circular to oblong-obovate, thin, lacking apophysis and umbo; bracts included or exserted. Seeds winged ; cotyledons 4--6. x =12.

Species 10: boreal and cold north temperate areas, North America, Eurasia .

Species of Larix are present in most boreal regions; they often form only a minor component of the vegetation. Some are important for their hard, heavy, and decay-resistant wood . Only a few have received any horticultural attention; some cultivars exist for the most commonly cultivated Old World larches, L. decidua Miller and L. kaempferi (Lambert) Carrière, but almost none for the North American species.[2]


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Abies microcarpa (Lamb.) Lindl. • Abies pendula (Aiton) Lindl. & Gordon • Larix alaskensis W. F. Wight • Larix americana Michx. • Larix europaea var. pendula (Aiton) Forbes • Larix intermedia Lodd. Ex J. Forbes • Larix laricina f. lutea (Jaurès) Ouden & Boom • Larix laricina f. parvistrobus (Jaurès) Ouden & Boom • Larix laricina var. alaskensis (W. F. Wight) Raup • Larix laricina var. lutea Jaurès • Larix laricina var. parvistrobus Jaurès • Larix microcarpa (Lamb.) Forbes • Larix pendula (Aiton) Salisb. • Larix tenuifolia Salisb. • Pinus laricina Du Roi • Pinus larix var. americana Pall. • Pinus larix var. pendula (Aiton) Endl.


Name Status: Accepted Name . Latest taxonomic scrutiny: Farjon A., 11-Jan-2006.

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Larix

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 21 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

L. decidua (Common Larch) · L. decidua var. decidua (European Larch) · L. decidua 'Corley' (European Larch) · L. decidua 'Julian's Weeper' (European Larch) · L. decidua 'Pendula' (European Larch) · L. decidua 'Varied Directions' (European Larch) · L. decidua 'Whorled Peace' (European Larch) · L. gmelinii f. hsinganica (Dahurian Larch) · L. kaempferi (Japanese Larch) · L. kaempferi var. pendula (Japanese Larch) · L. kaempferi 'Blue Rabbit' (Japanese Larch) · L. kaempferi 'Blue Sparkler' (Japanese Larch) · L. kaempferi 'Herynek Wb' (Larch) · L. laricina (Alaskan Larch) · L. laricina f. parvistrobus (Eastern Larch) · L. laricina 'Girard Dwarf' (Alaskan Larch) · L. lyallii (Subalpine Larch) · L. occidentalis (Hackmatack) · L. russica (Siberian Larch) · L. sibirica (Siberian Larch) · L. × eurolepis (Dunkeld Hybrid Larch)

More Info

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Further Reading

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  1. Liguo Fu, Nan Li, Thomas S. Elias & Robert R. Mill "Pinaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 4 Page 11. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. William H. Parker "Larix". in Flora of North America Vol. 2. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2014-05-13