[True Firs East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Amabilis Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Silver Fir

Abies amabilis

Amabilis Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Silver Fir: Abies amabilis

The photo above shows a small shoot bearing many needles of Pacific silver fir. The upper leaf is green and bears a central groove, seen in the photo. The tip of each needle also bears a small notch. This species at first looks very similar to grand fir, but grand fir has needles that are two-ranked and spread from the stem (Viewed down the axis of the stem, the 2 rows of needles look like a narrow X.) while those of Pacific silver fir are often (sometimes like an X) more clustered on the upperside of the stem (like a brush) with the needles often pointing more forward as seen in the photo below. The trick is to look at many of the branches since the needles are variable on Pacific silver fir! All the photos on this page were taken on the Island Springs Trail on to the east of Little Mt. Adams at the east side of Mt. Adams...................August 25, 2005.

Amabilis Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Silver Fir: Abies amabilis

The photo above shows one of the branch tips which helps identify this species. The needles are clustered on the upper side of the stem like a brush.

Amabilis Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Silver Fir: Abies amabilis

In this photo, we can see the two rows of silvery stomatal blooms and notched needle tips of Pacific silver fir. In this case, the needles appear two-ranked on the stem like a grand fir, but the previous photo of a stem from the same plant helps identify this as Pacific silver fir. The needles of Pacific silver fir typically measure up to 3 cm long.

Amabilis Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Silver Fir: Abies amabilis

The photo above shows the pitch-covered cone of Pacific silver fir. The cones of this species measure from 8-15 cm long.

Amabilis Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Silver Fir: Abies amabilis

The photo above shows the upper portion of Pacific silver fir with its erect cones. The upright cones help one identify similar conifers as true firs, as none of our other native conifers have similarly oriented cones.

Amabilis Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Silver Fir: Abies amabilis


Amabilis Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovely Fir, Pacific Silver Fir, Silver Fir: Abies amabilis

The photo above shows the upper surface of the needles of Pacific silver fir. Note the notched tips and central groove.

Paul Slichter