Larix x eurolepis. DUNKELD LARCH. Alps, Carpathians, Siberia
Larix decidua. EUROPEAN LARCH.
PINACEAE (Pine family)

Various species of larch are distributed widely in the circumarctic forests, some extending as far south as the Pacific Northwest and the Atlantic Northeast. The larch is a tree of many uses: house framing, railroad ties, shipbuilding, pilings (as at Venice), telephone poles, turpentine production, and the manufacture of baking powder. In the British Isles Larix decidua is the most planted exotic tree. Larch is also a widely valued and versatile ornamental, and is used for street planting in cold mountainous places. It is deciduous, unlike most conifers. Stanford has little to show of this respectable tree. The larch in the circular island at the south end of the Braun Music Center archway is a Dunkeld larch, a disoriented hybrid ('Varied Directions') between the European larch (L. decidua) and the Japanese larch (L. kaempferi). It exhibits the characteristic well-spaced tufts of short needles. When the leaves fall there is a display of charming, upright, 1-inch cones whose scales follow the Fibonacci pattern. Collect a twig and use the dark winter buds to study the larch's spiral phyllotaxy. The drooping specimen on the east side (in back lawn) of Harmony House off Lomita Drive is L. decidua 'Pendula.'

Illustration: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Illustrations (links open new windows): L. decidua 'Pendula' |

Additions/Revisions: both trees dead, removed Winter 2009.

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