Abies balsamea
Common name: 
Balsam Fir
Pronunciation: 
A-bez bal-SA-me-a
Family: 
Pinaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Conifer
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Conifer, evergreen, stiff, slender, conical at apex, 50-80 ft (15-25 m) high.  Needles directed forward and upward, 15-25 mm long, apex rounded or lightly notched, deep green above, 2 white stomatal bands below (each with 5-6 lines), strong balsam fragrance when crushed.  Cones erect, small, 5-9 cm long, eventually very resinous, they break up in early fall and release seed; the bare cone axis may remain on the tree for several years.
  • Sun or partial shade. Best in well-drained, acid, moist soil.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3          Has the widest range of any Abies in North America, from Labrador to Alberta (the only fir native to eastern Canada) and south to Pennsylvania.
  • A popular selection is the dwarf form 'Nana'
  • balsamea: balsam producing, the bark.
  • Portland, Oregon: Hoyt Arboretum.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • branch

    branch

  • branchlets

    branchlets

  • branchlet

    branchlet

  • branchlet, underside

    branchlet, underside

  • needles

    needles

  • needles and terminal bud

    needles and terminal bud

  • cones

    cones

  • cones, fall seed dispersal

    cones, fall seed dispersal