Abies concolor (Gord. & Glend.) Lindl. ex Hildebr.

white fir

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

White fir is native to the mountains of the west, from Oregon and California south to New Mexico, and it is well-adapted for germination and survival in deep snow. This attractive tree is planted in New England and occasionally found growing wild. It's silvery-green needles, growing stoutly outward from the twigs, are distinctive.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), forests, shrublands or thickets

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
Growth form
the plant is a tree
Leaf form
  • the leaves are needle-like
  • the leaves are scale-like
Leaf cross-section
the needle-like leaves are flattened (can't be rolled between the fingers)
Leaf arrangement
there is one needle-like leaf per node
Seed cone form
the seed cone is longer than wide, with woody scales attached at the base
Leaf clustering
the needle-like leaves are single, with one per node
Seed cone shape
the seed cone is cylindrical (cylinder-shaped)
Leaves overlapping
the needle-like leaves are separate and do not hide the twig surface
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Winter bud shape
    • the winter buds are conical (cone-shaped)
    • the winter buds are globose (spherical, globe-shaped)
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed cone base
    NA
    Seed cone bracts
    the bracts are covered by the seed cone scales
    Seed cone form
    the seed cone is longer than wide, with woody scales attached at the base
    Seed cone scales
    NA
    Seed cone shape
    the seed cone is cylindrical (cylinder-shaped)
    Seed cone symmetry
    the seed cone is symmetrical
    Seed cone umbo position
    there is no raised portion on the seed cone scale
    Seed cone umbo spine
    NA
    Seed wings
    the seeds have wing-like projections
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is a tree
  • Leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    there is one needle-like leaf per node
    Leaf base
    the base of the needle-like leaf is expanded to a circular attachment point
    Leaf clustering
    the needle-like leaves are single, with one per node
    Leaf cross-section
    the needle-like leaves are flattened (can't be rolled between the fingers)
    Leaf duration
    the needle-like leaves remain green all winter
    Leaf form
    • the leaves are needle-like
    • the leaves are scale-like
    Leaf glands
    there are no glands on the underside of the needle-like leaves
    Leaf stalks
    the needle-like leaves do not have a leaf stalk
    Leaf types
    there is only one type of needle-like leaf on the twig
    Leaves overlapping
    the needle-like leaves are separate and do not hide the twig surface
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • shrublands or thickets
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Bark resin blisters
    the bark has small resin blisters on it
    Leaves on shoots
    the needle-like leaves do not grow in tight clusters on a short, knob-like shoot
    Twig bloom
    there is no bloom on the twig
    Twig hair type
    • the twigs have few or no hairs on them
    • the twigs have hairs, but the hairs do not have glands
    Twig hairs
    • the twig does not have hairs
    • the twig is hairy

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

var. concolor

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Abies homolepis:
2- to 3-year-old branches with a prominent groove (vs. A. concolor, with 2- to 3-year-old branches lacking a prominent groove).
Abies balsamea:
leaves 12-25 mm long and green, not or hardly glaucous, and seed cones 4-7 cm long (vs. A. concolor, with leaves mostly 40-60 mm long, prominently glaucous, and seed cones 7-12 cm long).

Family

Pinaceae

Genus

Abies

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

2.  Abies concolor (Gord. & Glend.) Lindl. ex Hildebr. E

white fir. MA, ME, VT. Forests and thickets, often in areas of human habitation, though sometimes seen in remote areas (e.g., coastal islands of ME).