Larix potaninii var. himalaica / Langtang larch

Larix potaninii var. himalaica (W. C. Cheng & L.K. Fu) Farjon & Silba 1990 is commonly known as Langtang larch; as well as 喜马拉雅红杉 (Xu mi hong shan) in the Chinese language. It is a specific variety of Chinese larch that differs from the typical variety in the following ways:

  • Seed cones are longer, up to 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) long with differently shaped bracts, mucronate-cuspidate.
  • Young shoots are much lighter in color at yellow-orange.
  • It is not as hardy, rated only to USDA Zone 7.
Distribution. This variety is confined to Nepal's Langtang Khola and neighboring southern Tibet growing at elevations of 9,000 to 12,000 feet (2,800 - 3,700 m) It is reported only in the vicinity of Mount Everest, in valleys on both the north and south sides.

It is only hardy to USDA Zone 7, cold hardiness limit between 0º to 10ºF (-17.7° and -12.2°C).

Attribution from: Wu Zheng-yi and Peter H. Raven (eds.). 1999. Flora of China, Volume 4. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden.

Larix potaninii var. himalaica — a collected seed cone in a herbarium sample.
Photo by Matthias Jantsch