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Larix laricina

Larix laricina (Du Roi) K. Koch

Larix alaskensis W. Wight

Larix laricina (Du Roi) K. Koch var. alaskensis (W. Wight) Raup

Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionConiferophytaConifers—cone-bearing trees (and a few shrubs)
ClassPinopsidaGymnosperms such as cedars, Douglas-firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews
OrderPinalesCone-bearing plants: cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, larch, pine, redwood, spruce, yew, and others
FamilyPinaceaePine family: cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces
GenusLarixFrom Ancient Greek λάριξ (lárix), larch
SpecieslaricinaLarix (“larch”) +‎ -īnus: larch-like

About plant names...

Tamaracks are native to cooler regions of North America, especially Canada and the northeastern United States. Tamarack is an Algonquin name for “wood used for snowshoes.” They prefer acid soils and cool, moist sites, including swamps and bogs.

Plants: Trees are 33-66' (10-20 m) tall, with trunks up to 24" (60 cm) in diameter. While most cool climate conifers are evergreen, retaining their needles in winter, tamaracks are deciduous, dropping them. Branches are in whorls, reaching straight out or lifting slightly. (Many conifers have downward-angled branches, the classic Christmas tree shape, helpful in shedding snow loads, but since tamaracks are deciduous, this isn’t an issue.) Branches are relatively sparse. They fall away from lower parts of the tree over time. In younger trees, the bark is smooth and gray. Older trees have thick, rough, reddish brown, scaly bark, which flakes away to reveal a reddish-purple layer. Twigs are orange-brown and smooth, but with many short branches.

Leaves: Tight spirals of bumps called spurs surround twigs. Each spur contains a spray of needle-like leaflets ¾-1" (2-3 cm) in length, flat, and light bluish-green to bright green in color. Leaves turn yellow in the fall.

Flowers: Tamaracks are monoecious: male and female reproductive organs (flowers) occur on the same tree. (In dioecious species, some plants have male reproductive structures while others have female.) Male flowers are yellowish, small and rounded in clusters near branch tips. Female flowers are reddish brown, egg-shaped, with many scales.

Fruits: Small upward-pointing egg-shaped cones, reddish-brown, maturing to brown, ⅜-⅞" (1-2.3 cm). They remain through the winter.

Online References:

Larix laricina on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ... The Natural History of the Northwoods

Larix laricina at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

Larix laricina on conifersociety.org

Larix laricina on Wikipedia

Larix laricina on The Gymnosperm Database

Larix laricina on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Larix laricina on www.lakeforest.edu

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

7/17/2010 · Mackworth Island, Falmouth, ME
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

11/4/2013 · Mackworth Island, Falmouth, ME

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

9/16/2016 · Sieur de Monts Botanical Gardens, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

7/17/2010 · Mackworth Island, Falmouth, ME
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

7/31/2006 · Baxter Island, Falmouth, ME · By Constance B. Kent

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

6/15/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, ME

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Larix laricina description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 24 Sep 2017.

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Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

6/16/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, ME
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

11/4/2013 · Mackworth Island, Falmouth, ME
≈ 4 × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

7/31/2006 · Baxter Island, Falmouth, ME · By Constance B. Kent

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

9/20/2009 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

7/31/2006 · Baxter Island, Falmouth, ME · By Constance B. Kent

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

7/31/2006 · Baxter Island, Falmouth, ME · By Constance B. Kent

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

9/20/2009 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

Out of its northern range here, but it may have been planted on this roadside. · 8/31/2007 · Deschutes National Forest, OR
≈ 9 × 14' (2.8 × 4.1 m)

Larix laricina (Larch, Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Black Larch, Red Larch, Tamarack Trees)

7/31/2006 · Baxter Island, Falmouth, ME · By Constance B. Kent

Range:

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