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Abies amabilis

Abies amabilis - Pacific silver fir description


Scientific name: Abies amabilis   D. Douglas ex Jas. Forbes  1839

Synonyms: Abies grandis Hook., Abies grandis var. densifolia Engelm., Picea amabilis Douglas ex Loudon, Pinus amabilis (Douglas ex Loudon) Parl.

Common names: Pacific silver fir, White fir, Red fir, California red fir, Lovely fir, Amabilis fir, Cascades fir



Tree to 75(-82) m tall, with trunk to 2.5 m in diameter. Bark silvery gray, finally breaking up somewhat with age. Branchlets with light brown hairs, not grooved. Buds 3-4(-5) mm long, resinous at the tips or overall. Needles arranged to the sides on lower branches and also angled forward above and covering the twigs on upper branches, (0.7­)1.5-2.5(-3) cm long, bright green above, the tips notched on lower branches, pointed on upper ones. Individual needles plump in cross section and with a resin canal on either side near the edge just inside the lower epidermis, without stomates above and with five or six rows of stomates in each white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 10-15 mm long, bright red. Seed cones roughly barrel-shaped, 8-10(-15) cm long, 3.5-5(-6.5) cm across, purple (or green) when young, maturing purplish brown. Bracts much shorter than the seed scales and hidden by them. Persistent cone axis narrowly conical. Seed body 10-12 mm long, the wing up to 1.5 times as long. Cotyledons four to seven.

Pacific Coast of North America from southeasternmost Alaska, through British Columbia, to northeasternmost California. Forming pure stands or more commonly mixed with one or more of a dozen other conifers on slopes in the coastal and montane mixed conifer forests; 0-1,850 m.  The climate is extremely wet maritime, with 1,500 to 4,000 mm annual precipitation, much of it as snow.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern



Abies amabilis ’Compacta’
Abies amabilis ’Fastigiata’
Abies amabilis ’Glauca’
Abies amabilis ’Hoyt HB’
Abies amabilis ’Indian Heaven’   
Abies amabilis ’Silver and Gold’
Abies amabilis ’Spreading Star’



Attribution from: Conifers Garden