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California Red Fir Back to Plant Page
Abies magnifica var. magnifica

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About California Red Fir (Abies magnifica var. magnifica) Abies magnifica var. magnifica (Red Fir) is a large evergreen tree native to the Sierra Nevada mounains. The name Red Fir derives from the bark color of old trees.The bark on young trees is smooth, grey, and with resin blisters, becoming orange-red, rough and fissured on old trees.It is a high altitude tree, typically occurring at 1,400-2,700 meter altitude, though only rarely reaching tree line. It grows up to 40-60 meter tall and 2 meter trunk diameter, rarely to 76 meter tall and 3 meter diameter, with a narrow conic crown.The leaves are needle-like, 2-3.5 centimeter long, and waxy blue-green with a sharp acute tip that bends upward. They are arranged spirally on the shoot, but twisted slightly s-shaped to be upcurved above the shoot. The cones are erect, 9-21 centimeter long, yellow-green occasionally purple), ripening brown and disintegrating to release the winged seeds in fall.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
131.2 - 196.9 ft (40 - 60 m)



Native Status

Natural Setting
Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
3954' - 14090'

Annual Precip. ?
16.9" - 120.8"

Summer Precip. ?
1.13" - 4.10"

Coldest Month ?
10.8° F - 42.7° F

Hottest Month ?
34.1° F - 67.2° F

Humidity ?
0.93 vpd - 20.67 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
1*, 2, 3*, 4, 5, 6*, 7, 14, 15, 16

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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