Conifers Garden - Online Tree Nursery

Abies amabilis

Abies amabilis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Abies amabilis   Douglas ex J. Forbes  1839

Synonyms: Picea amabilis Douglas ex Loudon, Pinus amabilis (Douglas ex Loudon) Parl.

Common names: Pacific silver fir, White fir, Red fir, California red fir, Lovely fir, Amabilis fir, Cascades fir



Trees to 45-80 m tall, d.b.h. to 2-3 m; trunk monopodial, straight, columnar, massive, terete; crown narrowly conical or irregular in old trees. Bark in young trees smooth, ash grey or whitish, with resin blisters, in old trees deeply furrowed, brown, divided into small plates. Branchlets with light brown hairs, not grooved. Buds 3-4(-5) mm long, resinous at the tips or overall. Needles arranged to the sides on lower branches and also angled forward above and covering the twigs on upper branches, (0.7­­­­-)1.5-2.5(-3) cm long, bright green above, the tips notched on lower branches, pointed on upper ones. Pollen cones 10-15 mm long, bright red. Seed cones roughly barrel-shaped, 8-10(-15) cm long, 3.5-5(6.5) cm across, purple (or green) when young, maturing purplish brown. Seeds oblong, 10-12 mm long, light brown; seed wings quadrangular, broad, 18 × 20 mm, yellow or pale brown.

Pacific Coast of North America from southeasternmost Alaska, through British Columbia, to northeasternmost California. Forming pure stands or more commonly mixed with one or more of a dozen other conifers on slopes in the coastal and montane mixed conifer forests; 0-1,850 m. The climate is extremely wet maritime, with 1,500 to 4,000 mm annual precipitation, much of it as snow. 


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

Abies amabilis has a very large extent of occurrence and occurs as many millions of mature individuals, despite historical reduction due to unsustainable logging in the past. It regenerates well after disturbance, including clear-felling and on other sites, e.g. after retreating glaciers. Fires and pathogens are a threat but their effect is mostly local. Therefore this species is assessed as Least Concern. It is a constituent of the mixed coniferous forests with among other conifer tree species Tsuga heterophylla, Picea sitchensis, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Thuja plicata, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Abies grandis, Abies magnifica; and with Abies lasiocarpa and Tsuga mertensiana at higher elevations, but unlike the latter two not reaching the tree line. Abies amabilis is sensitive to forest fires and easily killed by fire, as well as by wind throw during storms. An introduced insect (Adelges piceae) is known to have had devastating effects in parts of British Columbia and Washington, but some trees have shown resistance to it. This species occurs within numerous protected areas throughout its range, where it is protected from logging, but very large stands remain outside these parks and wilderness preserves and can be logged.



  • 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 CodeABIBG0LL28
Weight1.5 kg
Height15 - 20 cm

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