Larix potaninii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Larix potaninii
Species Authority: Batalin
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Chinese Larch, Hongshan, Hungsha

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-17
Assessor(s): Zhang, D & Luscombe, D
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
As the two most common and widespread varieties (var. potaninii and var. macrocarpa) have been assessed as Least Concern, this also applies to the species as a whole.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from China: S Gansu, S Shaanxi, W Sichuan, NW Yunnan, E and S Xizang [Tibet]; and Nepal.
China (Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan); Nepal
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: May be locally common.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Larix potaninii and its varieties are high mountain larches occurring between 2,350 m and 4,300 m altitude a.s.l. The soils are acidic mountain podzols. The climate is cold, the precipitation varies from 800 mm to 2,000 mm annually according to location. At high elevations it grows often pure, with undergrowth of Juniperus squamata, elsewhere it is usually mixed with Abies spp., Picea spp., Tsuga dumosa or T. chinensis, Cephalotaxus spp. and Taxus spp.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Chinese Larch is an important timber tree in the western mountains of China. Its wood is durable and can be used for construction purposes, mining props and railway sleepers, as well as milled for veneer and pulped for the paper industry. It is rarely used in forestry plantations outside China and for amenity planting. It is in cultivation  only as specimen trees in some arboreta and pineta; most trees in Europe and the USA derived from seed collected by Ernest Wilson and other plant collectors early in the 20th century and often have not survived. There are numerous recent collections planted, however, these are still confined to arboreta. This species should be planted more often in suitable regions (climate) as it has large, attractive cones with conspicuous upturned bracts

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Localized over exploitation of varieties with limited distribution has led to two varieties being listed as threatened. No range wide threats have been identified.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in several protected areas. A general logging ban is in place in China where the majority of the population occurs.

Citation: Zhang, D & Luscombe, D 2013. Larix potaninii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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