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Abies amabilis (Douglas ex Loudon) Douglas ex Forbes
Pacific Silver Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, White Fir, Red fir
Pinaceae (Pine Family)
USDA Symbol: ABAM
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)
Large fir with beautiful, spire-like, conical crown of short, down-curving branches and flat, fernlike foliage.
Called the silver fir because of the shining silvery undersides of the needles. "Amabilis" means lovely an apt name for this beautiful tree.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Margin: Entire
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 200 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AK , CA , OR , WA
Native Distribution: Pacific Coast from extreme SE. Alaska south to W. Oregon; local in NW. California; to 1000' (305 m) in north; to 6000' (1829 m) in south.
Native Habitat: Cool, wet regions, including coastal fog belt and interior mountain valleys; in coniferous forests.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Loam
BenefitUse Food: The pitch of balsam firs (Abies spp.) was chewed for enjoyment, and the Ditidaht name for both A. amabilis and A. grandis literally means sweet plant.
Use Other: The boughs of the amabilis fir have a pleasant, spicy fragrance and, along with boughs of grand fir, were used in the household as floor coverings and bedding. The Nisgaía occasionally used amabilis fir wood for house planks, but it is soft and brittle, and therefore it was used mostly for fuel.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Abies amabilis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Abies amabilis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Abies amabilis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2021-11-18
Research By: TWC Staff