Fun facts about Larch (Larix)

Larch (lat.Lárix) bloming in the botanical garden.

This is an incredible plant and here are 7 interesting facts about it.

Larch is one of the most widespread species of conifers on our planet. It owns 40% of the total forested area. In the territory that larch occupies in Russia, five states such as France could be located.

The height of the larch can reach 80 meters, and the trunk diameter is up to 2 meters. The tree grows especially quickly in the first 20 years of its life, growing up to 1 meter per season. At night, growth of the tree stops – so it really depends on sunlight. Larch tree lives 300-400 years, but there are also some that are more than 800. The oldest larch grows in Canada, it is 2000 years old.

Larch can grow in permafrost conditions. It is included in the Guinness Book of Records as the most frost-hardy tree: Daurian larch can survive in frosts up to 60-65 ° C 🥶.

Larch wood is one of the hardest conifers. It doesn’t care about the grinder beetle. The resin makes it resistant to water and rotting. Resins also makes it a fireproof. Most of the houses in Venice stand on stilts made of larch. Age of some houses more then 500 years.

Freshly cut larch is very dense, and after a few minutes it begins to sink if placed in water. Therefore, it is not possible to float it by rivers. Over time, the wood of this tree becomes as hard as stone, it is impossible to drive a nail into it, or damage it with an ax or a saw. The density of a tree depends on where it grows. The highest density has larch that grown in Altai (Russia).

Larch is a unique medicinal plant. Needles and bark, young buds and shoots, seeds are used in folk and official medicine. Residents of Siberia call the resin of the tree “serka” and chew it for inflammation of the gums. Products made from larch can clean the air. Larch needles can be used for salads and diet food. It has vitamin C several times more than in lemons.

Larch is the only coniferous tree that drops it’s needles for the winter, like deciduous trees. The peoples of Siberia have a legend about this. Nearby grew a beautiful larch and a plain cedar. Once hungry cubs came to trees. The cedar, to feed them, dropped cones. But the beautiful larch had nothing to treat the poor animals with. It felts so ashamed that the needles turned yellow and crumbled.

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