General: 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.
Leaves: 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.
Cones: Seed cones erect, deep purple, 8-10 (15) cm long, 3.5-4 (5) cm thick, the bracts deciduous; pollen cones reddish.
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 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.
A very shade-tolerant, submontane to subalpine, Western North American evergreen conifer distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region (absent on Queen Charlotte Islands). Occurs in maritime to sub maritime sub-alpine boreal and summer-wet cool mesothermal climates on fresh to very moist soils; its occurrence increases with increasing elevation and precipitation, and decreases with increasing latitude and continentality. Grows in pure or mixed-species stands (usually with western or mountain hemlock) on water-shedding and water-receiving sites. Regenerates underneath closedcanopy stands, particularly on mycorrhizal Mors. (The mycorrhizae may explain this species' tolerance of nutrient-poor sites.) Most productive on submontane, fresh to moist, nutrient-rich (seepage) sites within wet cool mesothermal climates. Characteristic of wet maritime forests.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. 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:
2021-06-22 2:16:34 PM
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