Larix gmelinii var. principis-rupprechtii
Common Name: dahurian larch
Type: Tree
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: China, Korea
Zone: 2 to 5
Height: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Good Fall

Culture

Best grown in moist, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Intolerant of full shade, dry soils and most city pollutants. Best performance is in temperature conditions that mirror its native habitat, namely, cool summers and cold winters. Propagate from seed. Trees often perform poorly in areas with (a) hot and humid summer conditions and/or (b) mild winter conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Larix gmelinii, commonly called Dahurian larch, is a deciduous conifer whose needles turn a showy yellow in fall before falling to the ground for winter. It is native to northeastern Siberia, northern China, Mongolia and North Korea. This is a tree of very cold climates, ranging northward inside the Arctic Circle to tree line. In the wild, it grows to 40-60' (less frequently to 100') tall with a broad conic but open crown and horizontal branching, but much smaller near tree line. Bright green needles (to 1 1/2" long) in brush-like clusters appear at the ends of spur-like shoots along the branches. Cones (to 1 1/2" long) emerge purple but mature to light brown.

Var. principis-rupprechtii, sometimes commonly called Prince Rupprecht's larch, is a vigorous form that is primarily distinguished from the species by having larger cones (to 1 3/4" long). It is native to alpine areas in northern China.

Genus name is the classical name for larch trees.

Specific epithet honors Johann Georg Gmelin ( 1709-1755 ), botanist and author of The Flora of Siberia.

Problems

Potential insect pests include larch case-bearer, larch sawfly, larch looper, tussock moth, Japanese beetle and woolly aphids. Potential disease problems include needle cast, needle rust and canker.

Garden Uses

Prince Rupprecht's larch is native to and best grown in cold areas. It is not recommended for the St. Louis climate. Good yellow fall color.