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Larch facts and health benefits

Concise information about larch
Name: Larch
A scientific name: Deciduous forest
Origin Mountains in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe
Colours The green turns red when immature and turns brown when fully grown.
Forms The cones are straight, ovoid cone-shaped, 2 to 6 cm long, with 10 to 90 straight or slightly affected seed scales (no reflex).
Taste Astringent
Benefits to your health Useful for rheumatism, bronchitis, diarrhea, asthma, chronic eczema, psoriasis, colds, flu, H1N1 flu (pigs), ear infections in children and HIV/AIDS.

The larch or European larch, scientifically known as Larix decidua, is one of the few conifers belonging to the Pinaceae (pine family). The plant grows in the mountains of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, in the Alps and the Carpathians and in the Pyrenees, where the population is low in northern Poland and southern Lithuania, from south-eastern France and south-western Italy to central Romania. It is a large, long-lived, fast-growing tree that grows mainly in the mountainous areas of Central and Eastern Europe. Some of the most popular plant names are the common larch, the European larch, the creosote bush, the larch and the white larch. The name of the genus, Larix, comes from the Celtic word lar, which means fat for oily wood. The species is called foliage, which in Latin means foliage, in reference to the leaves.

Wood and resin are valued for many different applications. Thanks to the robustness and durability of the wood, it is particularly suitable for weather conditions such as houses, fences, roofs and bridges, but also for the production of furniture. In addition, tannin can be extracted from the bark and resin of the wood. Lifespan has been confirmed at almost 1000 years (with claims up to 2000 years), but it is generally around 200 years. It is said that one of the larch trees planted in 1738 by the second Duke of the atoll in the dark field is still standing.

Larch Facts

Name Larch
Scientific name Deciduous forest
Aboriginal residents The mountains of southern, central and eastern Europe, in the Alps, the Carpathians and the Pyrenees, with irregular lowland populations in northern Poland and southern Lithuania, from southeastern France and southwestern Italy to central Romania.
Common names Common larch, European larch, creosote, larch, white larch.
Name in other languages Africans: Larixalbanian: LarchAmharic: Arab larch: Al’arkas shajara (الأركس شجرة), ‘Arziat’ uvrubia (أرزية أوروبية), Khejap’ichi europakan (Խեժափիճի եվրոպական): Khejap’ichi (խեժափիճի)
Azerbaijan : Larch, Avropa qara şamı
Basque : Alertzea, Europar laritz
Bavarian : The larch is Belarusian: Bengali, Lisztowitz. (Lisztowitz) : Bosnian larch: Aryan-Bulgarian: Larch (larch), evropeĭska listvennitsa (European larch)
Catalan : Larix, Larix Europa, Alers, Cedre d’OlorCebuano: Larchichecha: Chinese larch:  Luòyè song (落叶松), or zhou luo ye song (欧洲落叶松)
Corsica : LariceCroatian: Aryan, Europski ariš, Czech listopadni ariš
: Modrin, Modrin drops the Danes: Lærk, Europæisk lærk
Dutch : Larix, European cork, European larix
English : Common larch, European larch, shrubby creosote, larch, white larch
Esperanto : Larch, Larch Europe
Estonian : Lehis, euroopa lehis
Philippine: Finnish Larch
: Lehtikuusi, Euroopanlehtikuusi
English : Larch, Common Larch, European Larch, Briançon Pine
Frisian : LarchGalicus: LarisoGeorgier: Lärchedeutsch: Larcher, Europaishe Larcher, Jemaine Larcher, Europaishe Larshenbaum
Greek Larix (λάριξ)
Gujarati :  Haitian LarchCréole: House Meles :
Hawaiian larch: Larch
in Hebrew: לֶגֶשׁ
in Hindi : Ek prakaar ka vrksh (एक प्रकार का वृक्ष)
Hmong : Kurdish larch (Kurmanji): Larch-Hungarian: Vörösfenyő, Európai vörösfenyo
Iceland : Lerki, EurupulerkiIgbo: Indonesian larch: Larchirical: Learóg, Learóg Eorpach
Italian : Laris, Municipality of Laritsa, Laritsa Europe, male
Japanese : Karamatsu (カラマツ), Yoropakaramatsu (ヨーロッパカラマツ)
Yavaneze : Canada Larch: Lārc (ಲಾರ್ಚ್)
Kashubian : Europejsczi skòwronk
Kazakh : Larch Khmer: Larch
Kinyarwanda: Larchcombi: Europais lish Korean : Nag-e-obsong (낙엽송)
Kyrgyzstan : Karagai (karagai)
in Latin : Larix-Laos: Larch
in Latvian : Lapegl, Lapegl Aeropas
Lithuanian: Maumedis, Europinis maumedis
Lower Sorbia-Sorbichka : Europski larch
Luxembourg : Macedonian
Alouettes : Arish (Arish), Europsky Arish
Madagascar : Larch
Malaysian : Larch
Malalam : Larch (ലര്ഛ്)
Malta : Lerċi
Maori: Larch
Marathi: Tyācē lākūḍa (त्याचे लाकूड)
Mongolian Shining (Shines)
Myanmar (Burma) : LarchNepalese: Mepal (मेपल)
Norwegian : Lerc, Europaisk Lerc, Europalerk, Europes Larix, Gavon Larix
Oxitan : MelzeOdia: Larch
Paszto لارچ
Persian: کاج اروپایی, سیاهکاج اروپایی
Polish : Modrzew, Modrzew europejski
Portuguese : Larisio, Lariso Europa
Punjabi : Laraca (ਲਾਰਚ)
Romanian : Laris, the Russian bastard: Larch, European Larch Samoan: Sulcerous: Europsky Arish, ArishSesotho: LarchShambhala: Evropski ariš
Schona : Larch
Sindhi : گهڻو ڪر
Sindhala : Larch – Scottish – Gaelic: LearSerbian: (Aryan) Slovakian: Smrekovec, Smrekovec opadavý
Slovenian Macesen, navadni macesen
Somali : Larch
Spanish : Alerse, Navadny Meissen, Alerse Comun, Alerse Blanco, Alerse de Europa, Alerse Europa, Laris, MelisSundanese : Swahili lork: Swedish Larch: Larktrad, Bergtall, Kontortatall, European Lark, Sitkagran, Vitgran, Euroopanlehtikhuusi, Lark, Larktrad
Tatar : Kabuga (kabuga)Tajik: Larch
Tamil : Ilaikaḷ koṇṭa mara vakai (இலைகள் கொண்ட மர வகை)
Telugu : Larc (లర్చ్)
Thai : T̂ns̄n chnid h̄nụ̀ng (ต้นสนชนิดหนึ)
Turkish : Karacham, Avrupa Melezi, Katran AgachiTurkmen: Garyniaukrainian: Modrina (Modrina), Modrina yevropeysʹka (Modrina Europe)
Upper-Sorbianka : European Larch-Urdu : LarchUigurines: Larch Uzbek: Tilog’och
Vietnamese : Cây sồi
Wales: llarwydd, Llarwydden Ewrop
Xhosa : Larchyiddish: Lartsch (לאַרטש)
Yoruba : LarchZulu: Larch
Ground cover habitat Pioneer, very long-lived, fast-growing conifer with medium and wide leaves.
Climate for growth artificial or disturbed habitats, forests, brushwood, coppice, forest edges, wet meadows, garden edges, roadsides and abandoned properties
Floor It grows best in evenly moist, deep, fertile, well-structured and aerated soils.  It’s not very good on clean sand.  Preference for soil textures are loamy sand, loam and silty loam. It can also grow on flat, stony soils, including limestone, with an average groundwater level.
Dimensions of the installation 25-45 m in height, with a trunk up to 1 m in diameter (in exceptional cases up to 53,8 m in height and 3,5 m in diameter)
Cora The bark of young trees is thin, smooth and develops with maturity.  In old trees, the bark is very flaky and heavily incised with large cracks.
Gun Monopod, straight or curved at the base on slopes, 1 to 1,5 (2) m in diameter, with a reddish brown to light grey cracked crust
Offices Twigs are thin to strong, flexible to stiff, pale yellow to brown, bald or very slightly hairy, short, prickly shoots are cylindrical and 3 to 10 mm long.
File Needles, light green, 2 to 4 cm long, which turn bright yellow before autumn and leave the shoots bright yellow to bare until next spring.
Flowering period April-May
Flowers It produces unique male and female flowers on the same tree. The male flowers appear in spherical clusters made up of cream-coloured anthers. They grow under the shoots. The female flowers consist of clusters of scales that develop at the ends of the shoots. They can be white, pink or green.
Fruit shape and size The cones are straight, ovoid cone-shaped, 2 to 6 cm long, with 10 to 90 straight or slightly affected seed scales (no reflex).
The colour of the fruit The green turns red when immature and turns brown when fully grown.
Sperm seeds 4-5 mm long, greyish in colour
Distribution From the stem cutter
Taste Astringent
Used plant components Cora, Young Shoot, tar, needles.
Life expectancy Approximately 600-800 years under optimal conditions, but some can last up to 1000 years.
Season October-November
Culinary use
  • The inner crust can be eaten raw or dried, crushed into powder and used together with flour to make bread, etc.
  •  The sweet taste of manna is extracted from the stem, it can be eaten raw, but is mainly used for medicinal purposes.

Description of the installation

The larch is a groundbreaking, highly durable, fast-growing medium-sized to large-sized deciduous conifer that generally reaches a height of about 25 to 45 m, with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m (in exceptional cases up to 53.8 m in height and 3.5 m in diameter). The plant grows in artificial or disturbed habitats, in forests, shrubs, bushes and forest edges, but also in wet meadows, garden edges, verges and abandoned estates. It grows best in evenly moist, deep, fertile, well-structured and aerated soils.  It’s not very good on clean sand.  Preference for soil textures are loamy sand, loam and silty loam. It can also grow on flat, stony soils, including limestone, with an average groundwater level.

It is a light-loving species; the larch loses the competition with other trees. It also tolerates very cold temperatures in winter. The crowns of young trees are symmetrical, open and narrow cone-shaped and become wide with age; the main branches are flat and ascending, with side branches often hanging down.  The shoots are dimorphic, with growth divided into long (usually 10-50 cm long) with multiple buds, and short, only 1-2 mm long with one bud.  Older trees often have large, low, pressed branches that are 2.4 to 3 m long before turning upwards. The European larch is considered to be deeply rooted. In the first year of life the branches are straw yellow for tanning, they become grey-brown, the bark becomes rough with grey-brown flakes. The crown has an irregular pyramidal shape, with old trees the branches often fall off. The trunk diameter can be up to 3 feet or more at chest height (dBh).


First-class branches (usually 4 to 20 years old) are light yellow with alternating leaves, while second-class branches are grey-brown with bunches of 30 to 60 leaves. Both species of leaves are about 2 to 4 cm long, needle-shaped and deciduous. In spring the leaves are light green, but in summer they turn dark. If they fall, they turn yellow before they fall to the ground. On the second category of branches, clusters of leaves are formed on the short branches that are less than 3 mm long. In each cluster, the leaves are connected at the base, from where they spread in all directions.


The European larch is single-celled and forms both pollen and seed cones on a tree. In spring, these cones will be positioned at the end of the second year. At this time of year the small pollen cones are spherical and yellow, while the large seed cones are egg-shaped and range from dark red to red-purple. Pollen cones consist of male flowers (staminate) and their scales, and seed cones consist of female flowers (pistillates) and their scales. The cones are fertilized by the wind.

Fruit (cones)

The pollen buds then wilt and the ovules continue to develop until they ripen in the autumn. Ripe seed cones are 2 to 6 cm long and are egg-shaped blue in colour with 10 to 90 straight or slightly affected (non-reflective) seed scales. At first they turn green because of the overlapping scales, but later they turn dark brown and hairless. Seed buds are held more or less vertically and can remain in the tree for more than a year, even after the seeds have spread. Seed 4-5 mm long, grey. Behind each seed cone is a large bract. Old cones usually stay in the tree for years and turn dull gray and black. This spathe is shorter than the scale. In addition to the spathe, each bowl has a few seeds at the base. These seeds have elongated wings, and they are spread by the wind.

Traditional uses and benefits of larch

  • Bark without outer layer, astringent, balsamic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulating and healing.
  • It is mainly used as an expectorant in chronic bronchitis and internally in the treatment of bleeding and cystitis.
  • A cold bark extract is used as a laxative.
  • Externally, it is useful in the treatment of chronic eczema and psoriasis.
  • Powdered bark can be used for purulent and difficult wounds to promote healing.
  • The bark is collected in spring and must be dried quickly.
  • The turpentine extracted from the resin is antiseptic, balsamic, diuretic, haemostatic, ruby red and parasitic.
  • It is a valuable aid in the treatment of kidney, bladder and rheumatic disorders and diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory tract.
  • Externally, turpentine is used in the form of flax coatings and inhalers.
  • Externally it has proved useful for chronic eczema and psoriasis.
  • It increases the speed of the immune system by combating problems such as chronic fatigue and viral infections.
  • It treats rheumatism, bronchitis, diarrhea and asthma.
  • It treats nerve disorders such as autism, mood swings, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHA) and depression.
  • As an excellent dietary fiber, larch extracts can cure cancer very well.
  • It can very well treat gastrointestinal (GI) and colorectal problems.
  • As a probiotic, larch extracts can increase bacterial production for good digestion.
  • It fights cancer and thus slows down the growth of metastases.
  • He can treat HIV and AIDS.
  • Improves the formation of uric acid in the body.
  • It also treats injuries, eye problems, rashes and allergies.
  • It is used for infections such as colds, flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, ear infections in children and HIV/AIDS.
  • It is also used for the treatment of liver cancer and brain disorders caused by liver damage (liver encephalopathy).
  • Some people use it to replenish fibre, lower cholesterol levels and strengthen the immune system.
  • Larch bark, needles and young shoots can be used to treat constipation, rheumatism, bronchitis, bleeding gums, earaches and gout.
  • The Abenaki tribe used bark tea for coughing.
  • The people of Abitibi used the leaves and inner bark to inflame the throat.
  • The Chippewa tribe used the inner bark of the wrapper for burns.
  • Menomini used the inner bark for the ignition.
  • The Algonquins used tea from the young shoots as a laxative.
  • The Montagnies used bark and budteas as a diuretic and spitting agent.
  • The Ojibwa crushed leaves and bark, which were used for headaches, and also used herbal steam for muscle aches and to purify the air.

Other facts

  • Large amounts of resin are obtained by tapping the cylinder.
  • The resin has a wide range of applications, including wood preservatives, lacquers, pharmaceuticals, etc.
  • No preparation is required for the removal of plant debris, etc., except the removal of tissue, etc.
  • Wood is widely used in construction, railway sleepers, cupboards, etc.
  • The European larch is grown as an ornamental plant and in shelters.
  • The oldest European larch, registered in 1955, was 672.
  • The height of the European larch is 56 m.
  • Carrying and burning larch wood was considered a protection against evil spirits.
  • Dense heartwood used in the manufacture of coffins, buildings, telephone poles, railway lines, fences, furniture and boats.
  • The poles that keep Venice (one of the most popular European cities) afloat are almost exclusively made of larch wood.
  • Women in Central and North Asia believe that they can increase their chances of pregnancy by spending the night under a larch wreath.
  • Europeans used to wear larch-based products to protect themselves from evil spirits.


  • Inhalation can cause acute inflammation of the respiratory tract.
  • Possible allergic reactions (e.g. hives, rash, contact dermatitis)
  • Oral treatment of the bark or extensive application of oil on the skin can lead to kidney damage.
  • Avoid taking it during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • This can cause flatulence.

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