Larix laricina – Tamarack

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Tamarack (Larix laricina) is a native deciduous conifer in the pine family.
Tamarack, also known as “American larch”, is usually the first tree to grow on filled lake bogs. It has 1-inch needles that grow in clusters of 10-20. The needles turn bright yellow in late autumn and then fell off.
Tender spring shoots can be eaten after boiled or made into a tea. The tree sap contains a sugar called galactan, which has the flavor of bitter honey. The inner bark can be dried and ground for flour.
Native Americans made an infusion of the bark and roots to treat persistent cough. The bark has the highest concentration of arabinogalactans, an immune system enhancer, of any known plant.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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