Larix griffithii var. speciosa / Yunnan larch

Larix griffithii var. speciosa, was first described in 1998 by (W. C. Cheng & Y. W. Law) Farjon is commonly known as Yunnan larch, as well as 怒江红杉 (nu jiang hong shan) in the Chinese language. It is a specific variety of Sikkim larch that differs from the typical variety in the following ways:

  • Shoots. Long shoots are darker in color; short shoots are glabrous in texture.
  • Leaves are a bit shorter at 1 to 1.8 inches (2.5 - 4.5 cm) long.
  • Seed cones. Bracts are narrower and less strongly reflexed.
Distribution. This variety is native to southwestern China: northwest Yunnan and southeastern Xizang (Tibet) provinces, growing in the mountains at elevations of 8,300 to 12,800 feet (2,600 - 4,000 m) above sea level.

Attribution from: W. C. Cheng & Y. W. Law in W. C. Cheng et al., Acta Phytotax. Sin. 13(4): 84. ©1975.

Larix griffithii var. speciosa — detail of mature seed cone; at University of British Columbia, Canada.
Photo by Daniel Mosquin