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Pacific Silver Fir
Abies amabilis

About Pacific Silver Fir (Abies amabilis) Pacific Silver Fir is native to the Pacific Northwest of North America, occurring in the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range from the extreme southeast of Alaska, through western British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, to the extreme northwest of California. It grows at altitudes of sea level to 1,500 meters in the north of the range, and 1,000-2,300 meters in the south of the range, always in temperate rain forest with relatively high precipitation and cool, humid summers. Common associate trees are Douglas fir and California buckeye. It is a large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 30-45 meters (exceptionally 72 meters) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 1.2 meters (exceptionally 2.3 meters). The bark on younger trees is light grey, thin and covered with resin blisters. On older trees, it darkens and develops scales and furrows. The leaves are needle-like, flattened, 2-4.5 centimeters long and 2 millimeters wide by 0.5 millimeters thick, matt dark green above, and with two white bands of stomata below, and slightly notched at the tip. The leaf arrangement is spiral on the shoot, but with each leaf variably twisted at the base so they lie flat to either side of and above the shoot, with none below the shoot. The shoots are orange-red with dense velvety fine hair. The cones are 9-17 centimeters long and 4-6 centimeters broad, dark purple before maturity; the scale leafs are short, and hidden in the closed cone. The winged seeds are released when the cones disintegrate at maturity about 6-7 months after pollination.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
20 - 236.2 ft (6.1 - 72 m)

Max. Width
20 - 50 ft (6.1 - 15.2 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate


Flowering Season

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Temperate Rain Forests


Elevation ?
99' - 7171'

Annual Precip. ?
31.5" - 100.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.69" - 3.60"

Coldest Month ?
33.3° F - 45.9° F

Hottest Month ?
51.9° F - 70.5° F

Humidity ?
0.14 vpd - 21.35 vpd

Soil Description
Adaptable, tolerant of sand, loam and clay

Soil PH
3 - 35

Companion Plants
Douglas fir and California Buckeye

Landscaping Information
Very Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Red Fir, White Fir

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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