Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Larix occidentalis
western larch

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Oregon, east to Alberta and Montana.

Habitat: Mountain valleys to middle elevations in the mountains.

Cones: May-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


A large tree up to 80 m. tall, the trunk ultimately largely bare.


Bark ultimately very thick, furrowed into large plates, flaking into cinnamon-colored scales; young twigs glabrous to pubescent.


Needles in false whorles of 15-30 per spur, pale green, stiff, 2.5-4.5 cm. long, broadly triangular in cross-section, deciduous.


Staminate cones on short, lateral, naked branches, yellow, 1 cm. long; ovulate cones 2.5-3 cm. long, the scales reddish-brown, somewhat woolly on the lower surface, much shorter than the greenish-brown to yellowish-red, long bracts; the two cones often adjacent.

Accepted Name:
Larix occidentalis Nutt.
Publication: N. Amer. Sylv. 3: 143, plate 120. 1849.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Larix occidentalis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Larix occidentalis checklist entry

OregonFlora: Larix occidentalis information

E-Flora BC: Larix occidentalis atlas page

CalPhotos: Larix occidentalis photos

44 photographs:
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