Pacific Silver Fir

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 Abies amabilis subsp. var.  Pacific Silver Fir, White Fir, Beautiful fir
Habit: tree
Height: to
Width: to
70ft100ft 12ft20ft
Height: 70 ft to 100 ft
Width: 12 ft to 20 ft
Lifespan: perennial
Origin: S Alaska to N California
Exposure: sun
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 5 to 9
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Pinaceae > Abies amabilis var. ,

Pacific Silver Fir (Abies amabilis) is a fir native to the Pacific Northwest of North America, occurring in the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range from the extreme southeast of Alaska, through western British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, to the extreme northwest of California. It grows at altitudes of sea level to 1,500 m in the north of the range, and 1,000-2,300 m in the south of the range, always in temperate rain forest with relatively high precipitation and cool, humid summers. Common associate trees are Douglas fir and California buckeye.[1]

It is a large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 30–45 m (exceptionally 72 m) tall[2] and with a trunk diameter of up to 1.2 m (exceptionally 2.3 m). The bark on younger trees is light grey, thin and covered with resin blisters. On older trees, it darkens and develops scales and furrows. The leaves are needle-like, flattened, 2-4.5 cm long and 2 mm wide by 0.5 mm thick, matt dark green above, and with two white bands of stomata below, and slightly notched at the tip.[3] The leaf arrangement is spiral on the shoot, but with each leaf variably twisted at the base so they lie flat to either side of and above the shoot, with none below the shoot. The shoots are orange-red with dense velvety pubescence. The cones are 9–17 cm long and 4–6 cm broad, dark purple before maturity; the scale bracts are short, and hidden in the closed cone. The winged seeds are released when the cones disintegrate at maturity about 6–7 months after pollination.

The foliage has an attractive scent, and is sometimes used for Christmas decoration, including Christmas trees.

It is also planted as an ornamental tree in large parks, though its requirement for cool, humid summers limits the areas where it grows well; successful growth away from its native range is restricted to areas like western Scotland and southern New Zealand.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

White Fir. Tree, 100-150 ft.: trunk 4-6 ft. in diam.: lvs. crowded, dark green and very lustrous above, silvery white below, occasionally stomatiferous on the upper surface: cones oblong, dark purple, 3 1/2 - 6 in. long; bracts much shorter than their scales. Cascade Mts. of Wash, and Ore., and Coast Ranges from Vancouver Isl. to Ore. —One of the handsomest of the genus, often forming groves at high elevations; in cult, grows slowly, and is not satisfactory.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

More information about this species can be found on the genus page.



Pests and diseases




  1. C.M. Hogan, 2008
  2. Gymnosperm database, 2008
  3. Flora of North America, 2008

External links

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