Dioecious tree up to 50 m tall; not colonial; branches brown the first year, turning grey later; twigs smooth or sparsely hairy.
Alternate, deciduous, simple, narrowly to broadly egg-shaped or lanceolate, 5-20 cm long, 3-12 cm wide, the bases tapered to heart-shaped or squared-off smooth, finely toothed and hairy on the margins, the teeth often tipped with a callous gland, lower side whitish or pale green and brownish; leaf stalks 2-10 cm long, often with a pair of glands near the blade; buds finely hairy with fringed scales.
Borne in catkins; male catkins 2-3 (5) cm long, soon deciduous, with 8-60 stamens; female catkins 8-20 cm long.
Capsules, broadly egg-shaped, carpels 2-3, smooth or hairy, nearly unstalked.
Two subspecies occur in BC. The hybrids P. angustifolia James x P. balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa (P. x brayshawii Boivin) and P. balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa x P. nigra L. var. italica DuRoi are rare in BC .
1. Ovaries and capsules smooth; leaves pale green and brownish beneath.................... ssp. balsamifera
1. Ovaries and young capsules hairy; leaves whitish beneath.................... ssp. trichocarpa (T. & G.) Brayshaw
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 Spring to Summer
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
|BAFA(1), BG(3), BWBS(567), CDF(32), CWH(94), ESSF(54), ICH(260), IDF(57), MS(20), PP(7), SBPS(6), SBS(270), SWB(48)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013