Pacific silver fir Pinaceae Abies
amabilis (Douglas ex Louden) Douglas ex Forbes symbol: ABAM
Leaf: Flattened needles, about 1 inch long, dark green above (no bloom) and silvery-white below (2 bands of bloom), apex usually notched (but may be pointed near the top of the crown), spirally arranged but clustered on upper side of twig; topmost needles point upward and forward, like a ski jumper.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male cones reddish and borne beneath the needles; female cones purple and borne upright near the top of the crown.
Fruit: Cone, 3 to 6 inches long, barrel-shaped, and borne upright on the twig; cone scales are deciduous, falling from the cone as seeds ripen; purple to purplish brown when mature.
Twig: Stiff, yellowish brown, and covered with round, flat leaf scars when needles fall. Buds are large, rounded, and covered with purple pitch; terminal buds usually occur in clusters of three or more.
Bark: Young bark is thin, grayish green, and covered with resin blisters; older bark remains relatively thin, but turns gray and scaly; often furrowed near the base.
Form: Moderate to large evergreen, commonly 150 to 180 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet in diameter. Long conical crown of dense foliage.
Looks like: grand fir - subalpine fir - California red fir - noble fir
Additional Range Information: Abies amabilis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Pacific silver fir.
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654