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Pseudolarix amabilis

Pseudolarix amabilis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Pseudolarix amabilis (J.Nelson) Rehder  1919

Synonyms: Chrysolarix amabilis (J.Nelson) H.E.Moore, Laricopsis fortunei (Mayr) Mayr, Larix amabilis J.Nelson, Pseudolarix fortunei Mayr, Pseudolarix pourtetii Ferré

Common names: Chinese golden larch, Golden larch, Jin qian song (Chinese)



Tree to 35(-45) m tall, with trunk to 2(-3) m in diameter. Bark reddish brown, grooved between narrow, scaly ridges. Crown broadly conical, with long, slender, horizontally spreading or rising branches bearing drooping side branches. Long shoots hairless, reddish brown at first, becoming dark gray with age. Short shoots with annual swellings bearing (10-)15-25(-30) needles (or their scars) separated by narrower rings of bud scars. Winter buds 2-3 mm long. Needles radiating straight out all around the short shoots, bright green, turning golden yellow in fall (hence the common names in both English and Chinese (“golden [coin] pine”), (2-)3-5.5(-7) cm long, (1.5-)2.5-3.5(-4) mm wide. Individual needles with five to seven lines of stomates in each pale green stomatal band beneath, the base gradually tapering, the tip bluntly pointed. Pollen cones 5-10 mm long on stalk 5-10 mm long, yellowish green. Seed cones (4-)6-7.5(-8) cm long, 4-5(-5.5) cm across, lime green before maturity, ripening reddish brown. Seed body (5-)6-7 mm long, the wing 20-30 mm longer, as long as the seed scales.

Eastern and central China, discontinuously distributed from eastern Sichuan east to southwestern Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and central Fujian. Mixed with other conifers or deciduous hardwoods in moist, mixed forests on acidic soils; 100-1,500(-2,300) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable

(Pseudolarix amabilis has a fairly restricted range and it is estimated that the area of occupancy is under 2,000 km² and may even be less than 500 km², in which case it would qualify for Endangered. The population is severely fragmented and there is continuing decline in the quality of the habitat and number of mature individuals. Habitat is being cleared for agricultural expansion, there would have been logging in the past, and the lack of regeneration (observed in one famous site) does not bode well for the future of this species. A thorough field survey of this species is required and with better information it may be that it should qualify for a more threatened category than current information indicates)



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodePSEJ2I1P31

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