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Pseudotsuga macrocarpa

Pseudotsuga macrocarpa (Vasey) Mayr

Bigcone Douglas-fir, Big-cone Douglas-fir, Big-cone Spruce

Pinaceae (Pine Family)


USDA Symbol: psma

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Big-cone douglas-fir is a 40-60 ft., often taller, pyramidal evergreen with a 20-30 ft. width. The lower branches are elongated and with slender, often pendulous, branchlets. The flat needles are a very dark blue-green. Evergreen tree with open, broad, conical crown of long, spreading branches.

Bigcone Douglas-fir is native only in the mountains of southern California, mostly within national forests, and beyond the range of Douglas-fir. This species is distinguishable from its relative by its much larger cones (referred to in both common and scientific names) and by its sharp-pointed, bluish needles. The trees recover from fire damage and injuries by sprouting vigorously from trunks and branches.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 140 feet tall, often much shorter.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


Native Distribution: Mts. of s. CA
Native Habitat: Dry slopes & canyons from 2000-6000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Drought-tolerant.


Description: Propagate by seed or cuttings. Propagation of this species an be difficult.
Seed Treatment: Seeds may or may not need a 1 month pretreatment depending on seed source.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-09-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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