Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sub-Alpine Fir, Alpine Fir, Rocky Mountain Fir, White Balsam, Balsam Fir
Abies lasiocarpa

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Abies (A-bees) (Info)
Species: lasiocarpa (las-ee-oh-KAR-puh) (Info)

Synonym:Abies balsamea var. lasiocarpa
Synonym:Abies balsamea var. fallax
Synonym:Abies bifolia
Synonym:Abies subalpina

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over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Xenomorf On Aug 13, 2009, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This fir tree get about 90 ft. tall with the trunk getting about 2 ft. thick. The smooth bark is grayish-brown and developes scales and fissures with age. The almost black to dark purplish cones are somewhat cylindrical and are about 4" in length. They stand upright in the upper part of the tree and degrade or fall apart when mature and whats left behind is just the cones' core on the branch. The darker bluish needles have two silver lines on them and spread out or are in two rows. They are curved upward, flat, soft and flexible and have a notched or rounded tip. It occurs in nature in the range of 8000-12,000 ft. elevation in moist and cool Spruce-fir forests. It is the smallest of the 'true' fir trees. The crown of the tree is narrow, long and pointed, with the branches extending not quite to the bottom of the tree. The seeds are eaten by small mammals and birds. Amongst other places in Arizona, this tree can be found at Hannagan Meadow.
It is native to AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA & WY in the USA, and in Canada it is native to AB, BC, NT & YT.

Neutral palmbob On Aug 12, 2009, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This fir often grows with other firs (notably Douglass Fir), Hemlocks and Pines... can be told apart by relatively soft and short needles, at least relative to Douglass Fir's needles. It also has upright cones, which most other conifers do not, at least in the Rockies.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Logan Lake,
Prescott, Arizona
Boise, Idaho

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