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

Larix occidentalis Nutt.
western larch
Pinaceae (Pine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #70575)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Larix occidentalis
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.


The western larch is unusual in that it is a deciduous coniferous tree that loses its needles in the winter.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Large tree, up to 55 (rarely 70-80) m tall; bark thick, furrowed into large plates, scales cinnamon colored; young twigs glabrous to hairy, not woolly-hairy.
Needles deciduous; pale green (yellow in the autumn); stiff; 15-30 per spur; 25-45 mm long; broadly triangular in cross-section.
Seed cones 25-30 (35) mm long, yellowish-brown; pollen cones yellow, about 10 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry slopes in the montane zone; common in SC and SE BC; E to SW AB, and S to OR, NW MT, and N ID.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Larix occidentalis

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) 110 1121 2635
Slope Gradient (%) 0 28 235
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 325 360
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(2), ESSF(166), ICH(1026), IDF(379), MS(283), PP(16)


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