Genus Larix, Tourn. (Larch)
Leaves - simple; indeterminate in position because of their closeness; arranged along the branches in many-leaved bunches without sheaths. Leaf - thread-like, one to two inches long, withering and falling in the autumn. Bark - smooth. Cones - about one half inch long; broad egg-shaped; green or violet when young, becoming purple and brownish as they ripen. Scales - thin, nearly round, their edges entire. Found - from Pennsylvania, Northern Indiana, and Northern Illinois through the Northern States and far northward. It grows usually in low, swampy land, where it often thickly covers large areas. General Information - A tree fifty to one hundred feet high (not evergreen), with a straight trunk and slender, horizontal branches. The wood is durable, hard, and very strong, and is largely used in ship-building, for posts, railroad ties, etc. The Indians and Canadians were accustomed to use the fibres of the Larch roots for sewing their bark canoes; and for tightening the seams, the gum of the Balsam Fir. Give me of your roots, O Tamarak! Of your fibrous roots, O Larch-Tree! My canoe to bind together, So to bind the ends together, That the water may not enter, That the river ma not wet me! Give me of your balm, O Fir-Tree! Of your balsam and your resin, So to close the seams together That the water may not enter, That the river may not wet me! And the Fir-Tree tall and sombre, Sobbed through all its robes of darkness, Answered wailing, answered weeping. 'Take my balm, O Hiawatha!'"
Newhall, Charles S. The Trees of North-Eastern America (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1900) 177
Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman