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PACIFIC SILVER FIR

Abies amabilis

Pinaceae

While Pacific silver fir extends into Alaska, the southernmost stand grows at Hancock Lake (6345 feet), in the Salmon Mountains (Marble Mountain Wilderness, Klamath National Forest). In July, 2015, I was fortunate to have the entire lake to myself, to savor these beauties growing with Brewer spruce, mountain hemlock, and western white pine.

Many species grow at low elevations or sea level at high latitudes, and at higher elevations in the southern latitudes. This is the case with Pacific silver fir. In California, it grows on cool, moist north-facing slopes above 5000 feet only in Siskiyou County. In Canada, north of Vancouver Island, it grows at sea level.

Needles I observed had a soft, fluffy quality, and the undersides have two silvery white stomatal bands. Cones are 4 to 6 inches, purplish, and cluster at top of the tree.

Possible Pacific silver fir growing at Hancock Lake in the Marble Mountain Wilderness

PORT ORFORD-CEDAR