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Tsuga heterophylla

Tsuga heterophylla
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Product Information

Scientific name: Tsuga heterophylla (Rafinesque) C.Sargent  1898

Synonyms:Abies albertiana A.Murray bis, Abies bridgesii Kellogg, Abies heterophylla Raf., Abies microphylla Raf., Pinus pattoniana W.R.McNab, Tsuga albertiana (A.Murray bis) Sénécl.

Common names: Western hemlock, Pacific hemlock



Tree to 50(-80) m tall, with straight trunk to 2(-3) m in diameter. Bark furrowed, scaly, red-brown to gray-brown. Crown narrowly conical at first, broadening with age. Twigs downy. Winter buds bluntly rounded, 1.5-2 mm long. Needles variable in length (hence the species name, from the Greek), 0.5-2(-3) cm long, parallel-sided, with tiny teeth along the edge, the tip rounded or slightly notched, the white stomatal bands beneath each with 8-10 lines of stomates. Pollen cones 3-5 mm long, red. Seeds cones green before maturity, ripening light brown, (1-)1.5-2.5(-3) cm long on stalks 4-6 mm long, opening to 1.5-2.5 cm wide, the seed scales (5-)8-15 mm long. Seed body 3.5-4.5 mm long, the wing 6-8 mm longer.

Pacific region of western North America, from central Alaska to northern California and in the northern Rocky Mountain region from northern British Columbia to central Idaho. Wet lowland and montane conifers forests, often as the prime dominant on slopes adjacent to the Pacific Coast; 0-1,500(-1,800) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(Tsuga heterophylla is a very widespread and extremely abundant species. It is probably increasing in forests where fires are suppressed and/or as a result of removal of large competitors through past logging of e.g. Douglas-fir. Consequently it is assessed as Least Concern)



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeTSUI5UDS66

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