Abies amabilis (Douglas ex Loudon) Douglas ex Forbes
amabilis fir (Pacific silver fir)
Pinaceae (Pine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Virginia Skilton     (Photo ID #80932)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Abies amabilis
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend


This is a tall, evergreen, coniferous tree species found from Alaska south to northern California in forests with deep, well-drained soils.

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Abies amabilis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
588 0 2400
Slope Gradient (%)
27 0 410

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

259 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal 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)

Habitat and Range

Moist to mesic forests with deep, well-drained soils in the lowland to subalpine zones; common in and W of Coast-Cascade Mountains, except Queen Charlotte Islands; N to SE AK and S to N CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia