E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Larix lyallii Parl.
subalpine larch (alpine larch)
Pinaceae (Pine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9912)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Larix lyallii
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The sub-alpine larch is unusual in that it is a deciduous coniferous tree that loses its needles in the winter.

Species Information

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Small tree, seldom symmetric, 10-15 (up to 25) m tall; bark thin but deeply furrowed and flaking, reddish-brown to purplish-brown scales; young twigs white or yellowish tomentose.
Needles deciduous; pale blue-green (yellow in the autumn); rigid; in bundles of 30-40 per spur; 4-angled; 25-35 (40) mm long.
Seed cones elongate, 35-45 mm long, 1.5-2 times longer than wide; pollen cones yellow, about 15 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry rocky or gravelly slopes in the subalpine to alpine zones; frequent in SC and SE BC; E to SW AB, and S to WA, N ID and W MT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Larix lyallii

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1163 2206 2649
Slope Gradient (%) 0 34 140
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 114 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(51), ESSF(250), ICH(1), IMA(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References