Checklist » Pinaceae » Abies lasiocarpa
Last updated 4/21/2019 by Ben Legler.
Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.[FNA2, HC, HC2]
alpine fir, subalpine fir

Publication: N. Amer. Sylv. 3: 138. 1849.

Origin: Native

selected vouchers: WTU

Notes: FNA2: "The only unique populations in this species come from coastal Alaska (A. S. Harris 1965; C. J. Heusser 1954). They are found at lower elevations (0--900 m) and appear to be isolated with no reported introgression between them and the coastal mountain populations. The population on the Prince of Wales Island has distinct terpene patterns and needs morphological and developmental studies to see if these patterns contrast with neighboring populations.

Through central British Columbia and northern Washington, Abies lasiocarpa introgresses with A . bifolia . These trees may have morphologic features resembling either species and may have intermediate terpene patterns; they are best classified as interior subalpine fir ( A . bifolia ´ lasiocarpa ). At the southern end of its range, A . lasiocarpa possibly hybridizes with A . procera (R.S. Hunt and E.von Rudloff 1979). Abies lasiocarpa shares with A . procera a red periderm, crystals in the ray parenchyma (R.W. Kennedy et al. 1968), and reflexed tips of the bracts, features not shared with A . bifolia .

Abies lasiocarpa usually exists in small stands at high elevations and is not often observed. Its differences in comparison to A . bifolia have prompted studies (W.H. Parker et al. 1979) to see if it is A . bifolia introgressed with the sympatric A . amabilis . Abies lasiocarpa and A . amabilis , however, are separated by many morphologic features, and no hybrids have been found (W.H. Parker et al. 1979)."


» Harris, A.S. 1965. Subalpine fir [Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.] on Harris Ridge near Hollis, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. NorthW. Sci. 39: 123–128.
» Heusser, C.J. 1954. Alpine fir at Taku glacier, Alaska, with notes on its post glacial migration to the territory. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 81: 83–86.
» Zavarin,E., K.Snajberk, T.Reichert, and Tsien E. 1970. On the geographic variability of the monoterpenes from the cortical blister oleoresin of Abies lasiocarpa. Phytochemistry 9: 377–395.


ssp. bifolia (A. Murray bis) Silba [HC2]
Rocky Mountain subalpine fir
ssp. lasiocarpa [HC2]
subalpine fir
Synonyms & Misapplied Names:
Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. ssp. lasiocarpa (Hook.) B. Boivin
Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. var. fallax (Engelm.) B. Boivin
Pinus lasiocarpa Hook.