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Abies amabilis

Abies amabilis (Douglas ex Loudon) Douglas ex Forbes

Pacific Silver Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, White Fir, Red fir

Pinaceae (Pine Family)



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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
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.
Leaf: Gray-Green
Fruit: Brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AK , CA , OR , WA
Canada: BC
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 Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Loam


Use 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


Propagation Material: Seeds

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Abies amabilis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Abies amabilis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Abies amabilis


Record Modified: 2023-05-31
Research By: TWC Staff

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