E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Abies grandis (Douglas ex D. Don) Lindl.
grand fir
Pinaceae (Pine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Kevin Newell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #1159)

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Distribution of Abies grandis
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This is a tall evergreen, coniferous, tree species that is found from southern British Columbia (primarily southwestern BC) south to northern California.

Species Information

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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.
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.
Seed cones erect, yellowish-green to green, 6-11 cm long, 3.5-4 cm thick, the bracts deciduous; pollen cones yellowish.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Abies grandis

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) 0 465 1675
Slope Gradient (%) 0 18 194
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 227 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(206), CWH(256), ESSF(1), ICH(184), IDF(50), MH(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

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 DouglasĀ­fir 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.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Abies excelsior
Abies grandis var. grandis
Abies grandis var. idahoensis Silba

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References