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Larix kaempferi

Larix kaempferi (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Tracheophyta
Divisio: Pinophyta
Classis: Pinopsida
Ordo: Pinales

Familia: Pinaceae
Genus: Larix
Species: Larix kaempferi

Larix kaempferi (Lamb.) Carrière (1856)

Pinus kaempferi Lamb., Descr. Pinus 2: 5 (Pref.). 1824.

Abies kaempferi (Lamb.) Lindl., Penny Cyclop. 1: 34. 1833.
Laricopsis kaempferi (Lamb.) A.H.Kent, Man. Conif. new ed.: 403. 1900.
Pseudolarix kaempferi (Lamb.) Gordon, Pinetum 292. 1858.

Abies leptolepis Siebold & Zucc., Fl. Jap. 1: 12. 1835.
Larix japonica Carrière, Traité Gén. Conif. 272. 1855.
Larix japonica A.Murray, Pines Firs Japan 94. 1863, nom. illeg. non Carriére (1855).
Larix japonica macrocarpa Carriére, Traite Conif. ed. 2, 354. 1867, sine dign. defin.
Larix kaempferi f. pendula (Beissn.) Yonek., J. Jap. Bot. 80: 323. 2005.
Larix kaempferi f. rubescens (Inokuma) T.Shimizu, New Alp. Fl. Japan Colour 2: 359. 1983.
Larix kaempferi var. minor (A.Murray) Sarg., Silva N. Am. 12: 2. 1898.
Larix kaempferi var. pendula (Beissn.) C.K.Schneid., E. E. Silva Tarouca, Freiland-Nadelgehö.lz. 213. 1913.
Larix kaempferi var. rubescens Inokuma, Bull. Tokyo Imp. Univ. Forests 25: 21. 1937.
Larix leptolepis (Siebold & Zucc.) Gordon, Pinetum 128. 1858.
Larix leptolepis aureovariegata Dirken, Cat. 1899/1900, sine dign. defin.
Larix leptolepis dumosa Beissn., Mitt. Deutsch. Dendrol. Ges. 11: 73. 1902, sine dign. defin., sine dign. defin.
Larix leptolepis pendula C. de Coninck, Cat. 27. 1946, nom. inval., sine dign. defin.
Larix leptolepis pyramidalis-argentea Kobendza, Roeznik 8: 210. 1952, nom. inval., sine dign. defin.
Larix leptolepis f. pendula (Beissn.) Rehder, Bibl. Cult. Trees 29. 1949.
Larix leptolepis f. pendula (Beissn.) Sugim., Hokuriku J.. Bot. 6: 27. 1957, comb. superfl.
Larix leptolepis var. ganghoferi Schwer., Mitt. Deutsch. Dendrol. Ges. 12: 94. 1903.
Larix leptolepis var. louchanensis Ferré & Augère, Bull. Soc. Hist. Nat. Toulouse 78: 137. 1943.
Larix leptolepis var. minor A.Murray, Proc. Hort. Soc. Lond. 2: 637, fig. 155. 1862.
Larix leptolepis var. murrayana Maxim., Index Seminum (LE) 1866: 3. 1866.
Larix leptolepis var. pendula Beissn., Mitt. Deutsch. Dendrol. Ges. 6: 92. 1897.
Larix leptolepis var. prostrata Beissn., Mitt. Deutsch. Dendrol. Ges. 8: 13. 1899; 18: 252. 1909.
Larix orientalis Jackson, Ind. Kew. 2: 31. 1895, nom. inval.
Pinus intermedia Lodd. ex Parl., Prod. (Candolle) 16(2): 411., 1868, nom. illeg. non Du Roi (1800).
Pinus leptolepis (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl., Syn. Conif. 130. 1847.
Pinus nummularia Gordon, Pinetum 128. 1858, nom. inval.


Larix orientalis Thunb. and Pinus japonica Thunb. are sometimes cited, but these names do not exist (Thunberg 1784).

Carrière, E.-A. (1856). Flore des Serres et des Jardins de l'Europe (Ghent) 11: 97.
The Plant List 2010. Version 1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 2011 Nov 27.
Thunberg, C.P. 1784. Flora Japonica sistens plantas insularum japonicarum... 274-275 [1], [2].
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Larix kaempferi in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Yapon qara şamı
български: Японска лиственица
čeština: Modřín japonský
Cymraeg: Llarwydden Japan
dansk: Japansk lærk
Deutsch: Japanische Lärche
dolnoserbski: Japański larik
English: Japanese Larch
Esperanto: Japana lariko
español: Alerce del Japón
eesti: Jaapani lehis
euskara: Japoniar laritz
فارسی: سیاه‌کاج ژاپنی
suomi: Japaninlehtikuusi
français: Mélèze du Japon
hornjoserbsce: Japanski larik
magyar: Japán vörösfenyő
հայերեն: Խեժափիճի ճապոնական
íslenska: Japanslerki
italiano: Larice del Giappone
日本語: カラマツ
перем коми: Ниппонісь лисвень
한국어: 일본잎갈나무
lietuvių: Japoninis maumedis
македонски: Јапонски ариш
Nederlands: Japanse lork
norsk: Japanlerk
polski: Modrzew japoński
русский: Лиственница тонкочешуйчатая
slovenščina: Japonski macesen
svenska: Japansk lärk
Türkçe: Japon melezi
українська: Модрина тонколуската
中文: 日本落叶松

Larix kaempferi, the Japanese larch[2] or karamatsu (唐松) in Japanese, is a species of larch native to Japan, in the mountains of Chūbu and Kantō regions in central Honshū.[3]

It is a medium-sized to large deciduous coniferous tree reaching 20–40 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The crown is broad conic; both the main branches and the side branches are level, the side branches only rarely drooping. The shoots are dimorphic, with growth divided into long shoots (typically 10–50 cm long) and bearing several buds, and short shoots only 1–2 mm long with only a single bud. The leaves are needle-like, light glaucous green, 2–5 cm long; they turn bright yellow to orange before they fall in the autumn, leaving the pinkish-brown shoots bare until the next spring.[3]

The cones are erect, ovoid-conic and 2–3.5 cm long, with 30–50 reflexed seed scales; they are green when immature, turning brown and opening to release the seeds when mature, 4–6 months after pollination. The old cones commonly remain on the tree for many years, turning dull grey-black.[3]

It grows at altitudes up to 2,900 m on well-drained soils, avoiding waterlogged ground.[citation needed]

The scientific name honours Engelbert Kaempfer. It is also sometimes known by the synonym Larix leptolepis.[4]


Japanese larch is an important tree in forestry plantations, being grown throughout central and northern Japan (north to Hokkaidō), and also widely in northern Europe, particularly Ireland and Britain. The wood is tough and durable, and is used for general construction work. Small larch poles are widely used for fencing.

Larix kaempferi is used for ornamental purposes in parks and gardens.[5] It is also widely used as material for bonsai.[6] The dwarf cultivars ‘Blue Dwarf’,[7] growing to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) tall and broad, and ‘Nana’,[8] growing to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall and broad, have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[9]

In late 2009 Phytophthora ramorum or sudden oak death disease was first found in Japanese larch trees, in the English counties of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.[10] The disease was found in Counties Waterford and Tipperary in Ireland the following year.[11]


Katsuki, T.; Luscombe, D (2013). "Larix kaempferi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T42312A2971556. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42312A2971556.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
Farjon, A. (1990). Pinaceae. Drawings and Descriptions of the Genera. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3-87429-298-3.
"The Plant List - species in Larix". London: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2013.
"Larix kaempferi". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
D'Cruz, Mark. "Ma-Ke Bonsai Care Guide for Larix kaempferi". Ma-Ke Bonsai. Archived from the original on 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
"RHS Plantfinder - Larix kaempferi 'Blue Dwarf'". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
"RHS Plantfinder - Larix kaempferi 'Nana' Neumann". Retrieved 17 March 2018.
"AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 58. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
Forestry Commission webpage on Phytophthora ramorum
"Disease found in Japanese Larch Trees in Ireland". Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2014.

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