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any tree of the genus Larix, conifers of the family Pinaceae (pinepine,
common name for members of the Pinaceae, a family of resinous woody trees with needlelike, usually evergreen leaves. The Pinaceae reproduce by means of cones (see cone) rather than flowers and many have winged seeds, suitable for wind distribution.
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 family), which are unusual in that they are not evergreen. The various species are widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. Needles of the larches are mostly borne in characteristic radiating clusters. A western American larch (L. occidentalis) achieves a great height, and its lumber is used for interior construction, ties, posts, and cabinetmaking. The American, or black, larch (L. laricina), commonly called also tamarack and hackmatack, ranges from the Arctic Circle to cold swamps in more temperate regions of the NE United States and is cultivated elsewhere for its beauty. The wood of this species has been used in shipbuilding and for posts, ties, and poles. The European larch (L. decidua) has long been valued for its durable wood and as a source of Venice turpentine. This tree, the Japanese larch (L. leptolepis), and the Siberian larch (L. sibirica) are also cultivated for ornament. The related golden larch is Pseudolarix amabilis. Larch is classified in the division PinophytaPinophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called gymnosperms. The gymnosperms, a group that includes the pine, have stems, roots and leaves, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Pinopsida, order Coniferales, family Pinaceae.


A fine-textured, strong, hard, straight-grained wood of a coniferous tree; heavier than most softwoods. See also: Douglas fir



conifer of the genus Larix of the family Pinaceae. Larches are large trees, measuring 30–35 m in height, with needlelike leaves that fall off during the winter. The leaves, which are soft and flat, are arranged spirally on the leading shoots and in clusters of 20–40 on shorter branches. The seed cones are globose or oblong; immature cones are reddish or green. They grow on the end of short stalks with leaves. The seeds ripen in the first year and are dispersed in the fall or the following spring. The opened cones remain on the tree for an additional two or three years. The small, winged seeds are distributed by the wind.

Larches are hardy and grow in most soils; however, they grow best in a sunny environment. There are ten to 12 species of larch (according to other sources, more than 20 species), distributed in the cold regions of the northern hemisphere (from the Himalayas to 71° N lat.). In the USSR they cover great expanses, climbing to the upper limit of the timberline. The most common species are dahurian larch (Larix gmelini) and the Siberian larch (L. sibirica).

Larch wood is durable, resilient, and hard. It is used for the construction of underwater installations, ships, and furniture; it also is a raw material for the production of pulp and paper and in the hydrolysis industry. Slashing the tree yields valuable turpentine oleoresins from which turpentine oil and rosin are produced. The bark is used for dye. Larches are decorative trees and are often planted in parks and gardens.


Derev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Dylis, N. V. Listvennitsa Vostochnoi Sibiri i Dal’nego Vostoka: Izmenchivost’ i prirodnoe raznoobrazie. Moscow, 1961.



The common name for members of the genus Larix of the pine family, having deciduous needles and short, spurlike branches which annually bear a crown of needles.

larch, tamarack

A fine-textured, strong, hard, straight-grained wood of a coniferous tree; heavier than most softwoods.


symbol of bravery. [Tree Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 175]
See: Bravery


1. any coniferous tree of the genus Larix, having deciduous needle-like leaves and egg-shaped cones: family Pinaceae
2. the wood of any of these trees


The Larch Project develops aids for formal specifications. Each Larch specification has two components: an interface containing predicates written in the LIL (Larch Interface Language) designed for the target language and a 'trait' containing assertions about the predicates written in LSL, the Larch Shared Language common to all.

["The Larch Family of Specification Languages", J. Guttag et al, IEEE Trans Soft Eng 2(5):24-365 (Sep 1985)].