|Abies lasiocarpa subsp. var.||Coast Range Subalpine Fir, Alpine Fir, Rocky Mountain Fir|
Native to high elevations in western US. Grows into a narrow, 60-90 foot tall steeple shaped tree in the wild under good, moist soil. In gardens it typically loses this narrow shape and height. Bluish-green needles, 1 to 1.5 inches long.
It is a medium-sized tree growing to 20 m tall, exceptionally to 40-50 mwp tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter, and a very narrow conic crown. The bark on young trees is smooth, gray, and with resin blisters, becoming rough and fissured or scaly on old treeswp. The leaves are flat needle-like, 1.5-3 cm long, glaucous green above with a broad stripe of stomata, and two blue-white stomatal bands below; the fresh leaf scars are reddish. They are arranged spirally on the shoot, but with the leaf bases twisted to be arranged to the sides of and above the shoot, with few or none below the shootwp. The cones are erect, 6-12 cm long, dark blackish-purple with fine yellow-brown pubescence, ripening brown and disintegrating to release the winged seeds in early fallwp.
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- The Coast Range Subalpine Fir Abies lasiocarpa in the narrow sense, is the typical form of the species, occurring in the Pacific Coast Ranges, the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range from southeast Alaska (Panhandle mountains) south to Californiawp.
- The Rocky Mountains Subalpine Fir is very closely related and of disputed status, being variously treated as a distinct species Abies bifolia, as a variety of Coast Range Subalpine Fir Abies lasiocarpa var. bifolia, or not distinguished from typical A. lasiocarpa at allwp. It occurs in the Rocky Mountains from southeast Alaska (eastern Alaska Range) south to Coloradowp. It differs primarily in resin composition, and in the fresh leaf scars being yellow-brown, not reddishwp. The Flora of North America treats it as a distinct species (see external links, below); the USDA includes it within A. lasiocarpa without distinctionwp.
- The Corkbark Fir Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica occurs in Arizona and New Mexicowp. It differs in thicker, corky bark and more strongly glaucous foliagewp. In resin composition it is closer to A. bifolia than to typical A. lasiocarpa, though the combination "Abies bifolia var. arizonica" has not been formally publishedwp. The Flora of North America includes it within A. bifolia without distinction; the USDA treats it as a distinct variety of A. lasiocarpawp.
Abies lasiocarpa subsp. bifolia (A.Murray) Silba. Northern & central Rocky Mountains.
Foliage with snow, Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Abies lasiocarpa subsp. arizonica (Merriam) A.E.Murray. Southern Rocky Mountains.
- American Horticultural Society: A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, by Christopher Brickell, Judith D. Zuk. 1996. ISBN 0789419432