A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.

Subalpine Fir

Modern name

Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.


Pinus lasiocarpa Hook.; A. subalpina Engelm.

In nature a tree to 100 ft, occasionally to 160 ft, with a greyish or chalky-white bark; young shoots finely downy; buds ovoid, resinous. Leaves arranged like those of A. procera, to 112 in. long on lower branches, shorter and more inclined to be bunched and forward-pointing on upper branches; stomata on both surfaces. Cones dark purple, 214 to 4 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 9600.

A native of western N. America at high altitudes, where it often forms beautiful park-like stands in sub-alpine meadows. It is an elegant, slender tree but finds our climate too soft and does not thrive.

var. arizonica (Merriam) Lemm. A. arizonica Merriam – Introduced in 1903. It has more glaucous leaves and owes its name, the corkbark fir, to its thick, corky, yellowish-white bark, and is found at high altitudes in the southern Rocky Mountains.

The name A. lasiocarpa is sometimes used erroneously for A. concolor var. lowiana.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Crarae, Argyll, pl. 1943, 52 × 234 ft (1976); Kilmun, Argyll, pl. 1937, 46 × 334 ft (1978); Altyre, Moray, 70 × 312 ft (1978); Coull House, Aberd., 62 × 534 ft and 66 × 434 ft (1983).

var. arizonica - specimens: Highclere, Hants, 75 × 5 ft (1978); Bayford-bury, Herts., 46 × 312 ft (1975); Speech House, Glos., pl. 1921, 51 × 3 ft (1975); Cortachy Castle, Angus, 66 × 5 ft (1980); Altyre, Moray, 36 × 314 ft (1980); Ardross Castle, Ross, 49 × 5 ft (1980).

† cv. ‘Compacta’. – Of slow growth, making a rugged specimen eventually 6 to 10 ft high, with grey-green young foliage. It was originally placed by Hornibrook under A. arizonica.



Other species in the genus