General: Tall, straight tree, up to 80 m tall; bark greyish to light brown, with resin blisters, smooth to shallowly ridged, becoming flaky; branches flattened and spray-like.
Leaves: Needles flat, rounded and usually notched at the tip; dark green and shallowly grooved above, having two distinct whitish bands of stomata below; definitely spreading horizontally, 2-4 (5) cm long.
Cones: Seed cones erect, yellowish-green to green, 6-11 cm long, 3.5-4 cm thick, the bracts deciduous; pollen cones yellowish.
1. Needles with stomata on both surfaces, blue-green and glaucous; branches not spray-like, leaves tending to curve upwards; trees with narrow crowns................Abies lasiocarpa
1. Needles with lines of white stomata on lower surface only, the upper surface green; branches mostly appearing spray-like, the leaves either all horizontally spreading or some spreading and the others depressed and pointing forward; trees with wide crowns.
2. Needles (2) 3-4 (5) cm long, nearly all horizontally spreading, the upper side of the twigs bare except for the twisted leaf bases; seed cones light green.........................Abies grandis
2. Needles mostly less than 2.5 cm long, the longer ones spreading horizontally, but others (usually shorter) strongly appressed and pointing forward on upper side of twig and more or less completely hiding the twigs; seed cones deep purple....................Abies amabilis
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Habitat / Range
Moist to mesic slopes and river terraces in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in SW BC, infrequent in SC BC; S to N CA, ID, W MT, SE WA and NE OR.
A shade-tolerant to shade-intolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American evergreen conifer distributed less in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in cool temperate and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence decreases with increasing latitude, precipitation, and elevation. Grows in mixed-species stands (usually with Douglasfir or western redcedar) on water-shedding and water-receiving sites. Tolerates fluctuating groundwater tables. Most productive on submontane, fresh to moist, nutrient-rich (alluvial and seepage) sites. Characteristic of nutrient-rich sites.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2017. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
22/09/2018 9:07:20 PM
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