Larix laricina 'Blue Sparkler' / Blue Sparkler tamarack

Larix laricina 'Blue Sparkler' is an upright growing selection of tamarack with dense, congested branches that radiate outward at 45-degree angle from the terminals. Needles are bright, pale-blue that age to gray-blue over the season. As with other larches, droplets of water held in the leaf axils sparkle in the sunlight; hence the name 'Blue Sparkler.' After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 3 feet (1 m) tall and 30 inches (75 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 3 to 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm).

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom seedling selected in 1985 by Dr. Sidney Waxman of University of Connecticut at Storrs. At times this plant will be seen listed and marketed as a L. kaempferi cultivar.

Larix laricina 'Blue Sparkler' — an old specimen in an arboretum setting.
Photo by Bill Barger
Larix laricina 'Blue Sparkler' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Larix laricina 'Blue Sparkler' — a mature specimen in an arboretum setting. Note that it's still young enough to still have a globose form.
Photo by Bill Barger
Larix laricina 'Blue Sparkler' — a young plant making a go of it in Petaluma, California (USDA Zone 9, Mediterranean climate), suggesting that if given sufficient shade and moisture, this species can survive outside of its normal habitat.
Photo by Sara Malone
Larix laricina 'Blue Sparkler' in the Harper Collection of Dwarf & Rare Conifers at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan; photo from August 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst