Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca (Mirb.) Franco (Beissn.) Franco
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir
Pinaceae (Pine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #27886)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend


This is a tall evergreen coniferous species of tree that is common in British Columbia.

Species Information

Tree up to 70 (occasionally to 90) m tall; rounded to flattened crown when older, young trees with pyramidal crown; bark very thick, rough, dark brown.
Needles (1.5) 2-3 (3.5) cm long, spreading around twig or turned upward, obtuse to abruptly sharp-pointed tip; color varies from yellow-green to dark-green in var. menziesii to blue-green in var. glauca, lower surface with two longitudinal bands of white stomata.
Seed cones drooping, yellowish- to purplish-green when young, turning reddish-brown, soon deciduous; 6-10 cm long in var. menziesii, 4-7 cm in var. glauca; scales with 3-lobed tip, the centre one the longest; pollen cones yellow to reddish, 6-10 mm long.
Two varieties are recognized in BC:

1. Cones mostly 6-10 cm long, the bracts straight and appressed toward the cone tip; leaves deep (yellowish) green; primarily coastal.................. var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir)

1. Cones mostly 4-7 cm long, the bracts appressed to spreading or reflexed; leaves more bluish-green; primarily interior................. var. glauca (Beissn.) Franco (Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir)

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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


Ecological Framework for Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca

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)
1002 280 2854
Slope Gradient (%)
27 0 244

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

243 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(38), ESSF(51), ICH(342), IDF(673), MS(184), PP(69), SBS(2)

Habitat and Range

Moist to dry slopes, river terraces and flats in the lowland and montane zones; common in S BC, infrequent northward to C BC; E to SW AB and S to CA and MX.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Pseudotsuga flahaultii Flous
Pseudotsuga menziesii var. flahaultii (Flous) Silba
Pseudotsuga taxifolia var. glauca (Beissn.) Sudworth