What Are Deciduous Conifers?

European Larch trees on a landscape (Larix decidua)
DEA P. PUCCINELLI/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Most trees and shrubs fall into one of two categories: deciduous or coniferous. The deciduous trees have leaves that fall off yearly. Coniferous trees have needles or scales that do not fall off. Another common name for these conifers is evergreens, although not all evergreens are actually conifers (i.e. some tropical trees and shrubs).

Characteristics of Deciduous Conifers

There are about 20 species, however, that straddle both worlds and are dubbed deciduous conifers.

These trees form cones and sprout needles like conifer trees. On the other hand, they change colors in the fall and lose their needles every year like deciduous trees.

List of Deciduous Conifers

Most of the deciduous conifers belong to the genus Larix and are commonly known as larch trees. They include:

  • Larix decidua (European larch)
  • Larix gmelinii (Dauhurian larch)
  • Larix griffithii (Himalayan larch)
  • Larix himalaica (Langtang larch)
    -This is also sometimes classified as Larix potaninii var. himalaica
  • Larix kaempferi (Japanese larch)
  • Larix kongboensis (Kongbo larch)
  • Larix laricina (Tamarack larch)
  • Larix lyallii (Subalpine larch)
  • Larix mastersiana (Masters' larch)
  • Larix occidentalis (Western larch)
  • Larix olgensis (Olga Bay larch)
    -This is also sometimes classified as Larix gmelinii var. olgensis
  • Larix potaninii (Potanin's larch)
  • Larix principis-rupprechtii (Prince Rupprecht's larch)
  • Larix sibirica (Siberian larch)
    -Sometimes named as Larix sukaczewii
  • Larix speciosa (Yunnan larch)
    -Sometimes noted as Larix griffithii var. speciosa
  • Larix x marschlinsii (Dunkeld larch or hybrid larch)
    -A hybrid of Larix decidua × Larix kaempferi. Other hybrids exist.

The other species are:

  • Pseudolarix amabilis (Golden Larch)
  • Taxodium distichum (Bald Cypress)
  • Taxodium ascendens (Pond Cypress)