This is a tall, evergreen, coniferous tree species found from Alaska south to northern California in forests with deep, well-drained soils.
Tall, straight tree, up to 55 m tall, with dense cylindric or conical crown; bark grey to nearly white, smooth but becoming scaly with age, with resin blisters; branches flattened and spray-like.
Needles flattened, blunt and mostly notched at the tip; shiny, dark green and grooved above, having two distinct silvery bands of stomata and ridged below; spreading to somewhat erect needles 1.5-3 cm long; strongly appressed needles on upper surface of twig 0.7-2 cm.
Seed cones erect, deep purple, 8-10 (15) cm long, 3.5-4 (5) cm thick, the bracts deciduous; pollen cones reddish.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present from Summer to Fall
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|AT(2), CMA(2), CWH(2223), ESSF(178), ICH(105), IDF(16), MH(522), MS(60), SBPS(1), SBS(5)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
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