Abies amabilis
Common name: 
Pacific Silver Fir
A-bez a-MAB-a-lis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Conifer, evergreen, slow growing, 50-80 ft (15-25 m) high, straight trunk, bark is light gray, mostly smooth, but furrowed at the base.  Leaves densely arranged, brushed forward on the top of the twig (viewed from the side, these needles are reminiscent of a ski jumper in mid-flight), side rows erect, 20-30 mm long, 2 mm wide, apex blunt or slightly 2-pointed, deep shiny green and furrowed above, 2 white stomatal bands below, each with 5-6 lines (this gives the underside of the needles a silvery appearance), when needles are crushed an orange fragrance is detected.  Needles on cone bearing branches are different, they are stout, curved, and very sharp.  Cones stiffly erect, barrel-shaped, 10-14 cm long, at first green, then deep purple when ripe.
  • Sun or shade, very shade-tolerant.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5         Native range extends from the panhandle of Alaska along the coast range and Cascade Mountains almost to Crater Lake, Oregon, a few isolated groves in the Klamath Mountains of northwest California.
  • A few selections, including:
    • ‘Compacta’ - dwarf
    • ‘Hoyt HB’ - silvery dwarf
    • ‘Procumbens’ - spreading
    • ‘Spreading Star’ - low growing
  • amabilis: lovely.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • branchlets, needles

    branchlets, needles

  • branchlets, needles

    branchlets, needles

  • needles, comparison

    needles, comparison

  • base of needles and attachment, comparison

    base of needles and attachment, comparison

  • branchlet, comparison

    branchlet, comparison

  • branchlet (underside), comparison

    branchlet (underside), comparison

  • cones, spring

    cones, spring

  • seed cones, mature

    seed cones, mature

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark