Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Abies concolor (White Fir, Concolor Fir) 

Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta– Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Coniferophyta – Conifers
Class : Pinopsida
Order : Pinales
Family : Pinaceae– Pine family
Genus : Abies Mill. – fir
Species : Abies concolor (Gord. & Glend.) Lindl. ex Hildebr. – white fir

This sweet-smelling coniferous tree is found at high elevations (2,000’ to 10,000’) in the Pacific northwest, south to Baja, California and throughout the states of Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho (USDA zones 5a – 10a).

It is most commonly found in Oregon and California, where it can reach heights of 75 – 120.’ This tree is an exceptional ornamental in the home garden, where it is prized for its bluish-silver, almost white, needles.

It is an excellent soil stabilizer and valuable for disturbed sites.

While it can tolerate shade, it far prefers full sun. Being a slow growing species, it is best to select a sunny spot and protect young trees from deer or rodent browsing that might slow growth.

White fir is very hardy and can tolerate heat and drought. It cannot, however, tolerate pollution and all forms of pest-, herb-, and fungicide should be avoided.



Photos above--left: Walter Siegmund at Yosemite National Park; bark: Brewbooks


Photos above--left: White fir is in Public domain; center: Tyler Finvold at Toro Peak; right: drawing by Kellogg


Photos above--left: Famartin, foliage on western slopes of Spruce Mountain, Nevada; center: Walter Siegmund


Photos above--left: White fir next to Ponderosa Pine on Toro Peak, California can be easily confused for Colorado Blue Spruce. Photo by Tyler Finvold; center: A young sapling of subsp. lowiana on Mount Whitney. Photo by Geographer; right: White fir in garden environment at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Photo by S. E. Wilco

For a short comparison of northwest native firs, click here.
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