Abies concolor
(White Fir)
[Lindl. (Gord. & Glend.)]

Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinatae
Family: Pinaceae
Family Description: Pine
Key Characteristics:
Also known as White Balsam or Silver Fir.
leaves
cones
seeds
  • leaves more or less erect on the branches, 5-7 cm long, about 3 mm wide; sometimes in flat planes on sterile branches;
  • smooth on upper surface or with a grooved center with a wide stripe of stomata;
  • lower surface with two bands of stomata separated by a small ridge, resin ducts near the edges and lower surface.
  • staminate cones red or yellowish;
  • mature ovulate cones yellow to brown or greenish-purple, 7-12 cm long, the scales 3-3.5 cm wide, fan-shaped;
  • bracts slender pointed, scarcely half as long as the scales
  • seeds 8-12 mm long with a reddish-brown wing about twice as long.

General Description:
Also known as White Balsam or Silver Fir. A tree up to 75 m tall with a spire-like crown. The branches are glabrous and shining (may be moderately pubescent & pale greenish to yellow-brown). Leaves are nearly flat with a pale bluish-green color. They are blunt with more or less erect on the branches. Dimensions are 5-7 cm long, about 3 mm wide. The staminate cones are red. The mature ovulate cones are 7-12 cm long, the scales 3-3.5 cm wide, fan-shaped. The bracts are scarcely half as long as the scales. Seeds are found to be 8-12 mm long with a wing about twice as long.

Distribution:
Moderate altitudes of the mountains Colo. across Idaho to North. Oregon., south to New Mexico and California.

Habitat:
Found in low elevations in the mountains.

Other:
Needles can be made into a tea which is diuretic or can be used as an expectorant or burned as an incense.
  The bark can be used externally as an astringent externally with some disinfectant properties or internally for intestinal tract, lung, or skin/mucosa problems.
  The pitch, bark, and needles can be made into a tea which can be used as a wash, or drunk several times a day.

Important State References:
No information available at this time
Photos & information written by Dr. Karl E. Holte,© 2002