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Larix lyallii Parl.
USDA Symbol: LALY
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Deciduous tree with straight trunk, short branches, and irregular, spreading crown.
Subalpine Larch is seldom seen because of its isolated timberline location in high mountains. David Lyall (1817-95), a Scottish surgeon and naturalist, discovered this species in 1858. For most of the year the branches are bare, except for the blackened dead cones.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, WA Canada: AB
, BC Native Distribution:
SE. British Columbia and SW. Alberta south to W. Montana and west to NE. Washington; at 4000-8000 (1219-2438 m). Native Habitat:
At timberline on rocky soils in Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir forest; locally in pure stands.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) CaCO3 Tolerance:
None Conditions Comments:
A valuable tree
for watershed protection, avalanche control, wildlife habitat and mountain scenery (Farrar)
conifer.This species often grows at higher elevations and on cooler exposures than other trees.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, hoary marmots, pikas, mule deer, elk (wapiti), black and grizzly bears, red squirrels, and snowshoe hares are among the mammals that feed in alpine larch stands. Blue grouse apparently feed heavily on alpine larch needles.
Warning: This plants tiny stinging hairs can cause a painful skin irritation.
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff