bristlecone fir Pinaceae Abies bracteata
Leaf:Flattened needles, stiff, dark green above (no bloom); and silvery-white below (2 bands of bloom), 1 to 2 1/2 inches long and sharp-pointed, either 2-ranked or spirally arranged, very much resembling bigcone Douglas-fir.
Flower:Species is monoecious; male cones yellowish and borne beneath the leaves; female cones erect and purple-brown, covered by long, pointed bracts, and borne near the top of the crown.
Fruit:Very distinct, 2-4 inches long, ovoid, with bracts that extend up to 2 inches beyond the end of the scale, giving the cone a bottle brush appearance, borne upright and disintegrating at maturity.
Twig:Slender with long, sharp-pointed, non-resinous bud scales.
Bark:Red-brown to gray and smooth, eventually becoming scaly or somewhat ridged and furrowed.
Form:Bristlecone fir is a small to medium size tree with a narrow, spire-like crown.