Subalpine fir

(Abies grandis)



Abies lasiocarpa, the subalpine fir or Rocky Mountain fir, is a western North American fir tree. It is a medium-sized evergreen conifer growing to 20 metres (66 ft) tall, exceptionally to 40-50 metres (130-160 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 1 metre (3.3 ft) across, and a very narrow conic crown. The bark on young trees is smooth, gray, and with resin blisters, becoming rough and fissured or scaly on old trees. The leaves are flat and needle-like, 1.5-3 cm (5⁄8-1+1⁄8 in) long, glaucous green above with a broad stripe of stomata, and two blue-white stomatal bands below; the fresh leaf scars are reddish. They are arranged spirally on the shoot, but with the leaf bases twisted to be arranged to the sides of and above the shoot, with few or none below the shoot. The cones are erect, 6-12 cm (2+1⁄4-4+3⁄4 in) long, dark blackish-purple with fine yellow-brown pubescence, ripening brown and disintegrating to release the winged seeds in early fall. Abies lasiocarpa is native to the mountains of Yukon, British Columbia and western Alberta in Western Canada; and to southeastern Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, northeastern Nevada, and the Trinity Alps of the Klamath Mountains in northwestern California in the Western United States. It occurs at high altitudes, from 300–900 metres (980–2,950 ft) in the north of the range (rarely down to sea level in the far north), to 2,400–3,650 metres (7,870–11,980 ft) in the south of the range; it is commonly found at and immediately below the tree line. The bark is browsed by game animals and its leaves are eaten by grouse. Songbirds, Richardson's grouse, Cascade pine squirrels, and other mammals consume the seeds. Abies lasiocarpa is a species of Plantae in the genus Tracheophyta, and was first described by William Jackson Hooker, and given the simplified Asian name by Thomas Nuttall. Abies lasiocarpa belongs to the genus Abies, and the family Pinaceae. The IUCN classifies the species as endangered.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Coniferophyta
Class: Pinopsida
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