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Abies magnifica A. Murray bis
California red fir, Red fir
USDA Symbol: ABMA
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
A 30-90 ft. fir with short, horizontal branches. The older bark is deeply fissured and dark red. When young, the evergreen foliage has a whitish coating. It later becomes blue-green. Large, handsome fir with an open conical crown rounded at tip and short, nearly horizontal branches. Named for its characteristic bark, this magnificent conifer forms almost pure forests at high altitudes along the western slopes of Sierra Nevada. It is common in Yosemite National Park.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape:
Linear Breeding System:
, Monoecious Size Notes:
60 to 200 feet, 2 1/2 to 4 feet in diameter. Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Green , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Male cones reddish-purple, female cones pale green.
, OR Native Distribution:
s. through mts. to c. CA
& w. NV Native Habitat:
Dry slopes & ridges; 5000-9000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Trunks are brittle and windfalls are frequent.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Used for Christmas trees.
Use Other: Early mountaineers prepared their beds by cutting and overlapping 2 rows of the plushy, aromatic boughs.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Seeds , Softwood Cuttings Description:
Abies spp. are best propagated by means of seeds sown in early spring. In
nature, Abies seeds often germinate on melting snow fields. Seed Collection:
Cone scales bear two seeds at the base. Mature seed has a large wing
and is ovoid to oblong. Seeds can be damaged easily. Seeds store best in a dry, cool environment. Seed Treatment:
Straification for 3 months at 30 degrees improves germination. Commercially Avail:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff