Larix × czekanowskii / Czekanowski's larch

Larix × czekanowskii, first described in 1913 by Władysław Szafer (1886 – 1970), is commonly known as Czekanowski's larch. It is a natural larch hybrid, between the two species, Siberian larch (Larix sibirica) and Dahurian larch (Larix gmelinii). The epithet honors Polish geologist, A.P. Czekanowski, who studied the Siberia's Lake Baikal basin in the early 1860's, and who was its first collector of botanical material for this tree.

Description. Czekanowski's larch's characteristics overlap those of its two closely-related parent species:

  • Seed cones are about 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, small for a Siberian larch and too large for a Dahurian larch. Seed scales differ as well, bending outward at maturity, somewhat like those of Japanese larch (L. Kaempferi), rather than being flat or inward-bending.
    In addition, the seed scales are a bit reddish and hairy on the outer faces, intermediate to the densely pubescent scales of Siberian larch and generally hairless scales of Dahurian larch.
This hybrid does not present the hybrid vigor present in the Dunkeld larch (L. × marschlinsii).

Distribution. This hybrid is native to Russia from central Siberia from lake Baikal along a wide swath stretching to the mouth of the Yenisei River.

Larix × czekanowskii, on Khoboy cape, Olkhon, Russia.
Photo by Konstantin Malanchev
Larix × czekanowskii, — a closeup of foliage and seed cone detail.
Photo by UFA Botanical Garden, Russia