Pseudolarix amabilis
Common Name: golden larch 
Type: Tree
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: Eastern China
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 30.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Good Fall


Best grown in moist, acidic, organically rich loams in full sun. Tolerant of light shade, but intolerant of full shade. Avoid limestone soils. Best sited in a location protected from strong winds. This tree may struggle in the hot and humid summers of the St. Louis area, but generally performs somewhat better than the similar common larch (see Larix decidua).

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pseudolarix amabilis, commonly called golden larch, is native to coastal mountain areas in southeastern China. It is a deciduous conifer that closely resembles the true larches (genus Larix). It is a slow-growing, broadly-conical tree with horizontal branching and drooping branchlets that often grows as wide as it does tall. It is typically seen in cultivation as a 30-60’ tall tree, but can grow to as much as 120’ tall in the wild. It is perhaps best noted for its soft green foliage (light green above and blue-green below) that turns golden yellow in fall before dropping. Needles (to 2.5” long) appear primarily in tuft-like clusters on spur-like short shoots. Erect reddish brown fruiting cones (to 3”). Bark on mature trees is fissured and reddish-brown. Pseudolarix means false larch. Pseudolarix primarily differs from the larches (Larix) in cone morphology: (1) cones are larger, (2) male catkin-like cones appear in clusters rather than singly, (3) female (fruiting) cones disintegrate and fall to the ground as soon as the seed ripens, and (4) cone scales are tapered to a point. The needles of Pseudolarix are usually longer and broader than those of the larches. Synonymous with Pseudolarix kaempferi and Chrysolarix amabilis. Other deciduous conifers include dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum).

Genus name comes from the Greek words pseudo meaning false and Larix meaning larch, which it resembles.

Specific epithet means lovely.


No known serious insect or disease problems.


Golden larch needs a large space in which to grow. It is an attractive large specimen tree with excellent needled foliage and fall color. It is also sometimes used for bonzai.