Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco
Pinaceae (Pine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© David Blevins     (Photo ID #468)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Pseudotsuga menziesii
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


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

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


Ecological Framework for Pseudotsuga menziesii

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)
917 0 2400
Slope Gradient (%)
29 0 240

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

197 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 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

BG(175), CDF(220), CWH(1615), ESSF(458), ICH(2813), IDF(3022), MH(14), MS(1237), PP(375), SBPS(65), SBS(814)

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 mucronata (Raf.) Sudw.