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Larix is a kind of conifer belonging to the Pinaceae family. It includes larches, with the only European species present in Italy: Larix decidua Miller. In the spontaneous Italian flora, larches are the only European conifers whose leaves are not persistent (they are not evergreen and therefore are stripped in autumn and winter). The genus includes deciduous trees that can reach a 40 meter height. The leaves are needles and, as in the Cedrus genus, they grow in groups of 20-40 and are carried on brachyblasts. The crown is pyramid shaped and thin. Male cones are yellow and deciduous after pollination. Female cones are purple and grow on the same branch as the male ones. After ripening, which lasts one year, cones lignify (and at this stage are called pinecones) and remain on the plant attached to the branches for several years after dispersing their winged seeds. The Alps host a large population of European Larches (Larix decidua Miller) that grows spontaneously. Another widespread but introduced species is the Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi Sargent) used in forestry management because it resists larch cancer. Larch is a very important species in the forests of Siberia and Canada. In Italy, it is a glacial remnant, having descended to the south during glaciations and then climbed at altitude instead of latitude in the subsequent period. In the Alps, in fact, the larch prefers high altitudes, reaching and exceeding 2300 meters above sea level. Being the only deciduous forest species in the Alps, the establishment of this conifer requires the absence of competing cormophytes, which would be an obstacle in reaching water and light. Larch forests, in fact, are the natural environmental evolution of newly dug land following particularly intense perturbations. For this reason, the larch is considered a pioneer and re-colonizing species. Larches have a particularly weather-resistant wood and are mainly used to build the roofs of mountain houses. Its roots provide d-mannose, a monosaccharide used as a natural remedy against Escherichia coli cystitis.