WHITE FIR

Abies concolor, Abies lowiana

Pinaceae

WHITE FIR is abundant throughout California and the mountain west, from 2,000 feet through 11,000 feet. White fir tolerates considerable climatic diversity, as well as precipitation ranging from 20 to 75 inches.

In California white fir grows in the Sierra Nevada, the Klamath Mountains, Warner Mountains, Coast Ranges, Tehachapis, and into Baja California.

There are differing opinions about whether the white fir of the southern Rocky Mountains is the same species or a variety. Some botanists call the California white fir Abies concolor var lowiana and the Rocky Mountain form Abies concolor var concolor. Other botanists consider the California species to be Abies lowiana..

White fir grows in mixed conifer forests, and may be found with sugar and ponderosa pines, Douglas-fir, red fir, and giant sequoia. It is shade tolerant, and susceptible to fire. "Thanks to over a century of industrious fire suppression, A. lowiana is probably more numerous in these forests than ever before, and has itself become a significant fire hazard as it increases stem densities in the forest and, when dry, is highly flammable." More in The Gymnosperm Database.

White fir growing with giant sequoia in Kings Canyon National Park

White fir to the left of incense-cedar in Kings Canyon

National Park

All photos, except as credited to others, are copyright Emerald Canary.