Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco

coast Douglas-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

Coast Douglas-fir refers to the west coast, as this species naturally ranges from British Columbia south to California. However, many have attempted to grow the majestic Douglas fir east of its natural range, due to its beauty and its importance as a timber tree. Although it only typically grows to 80 feet (25 m) in cultivation, mature trees in Pacific rain forests attain towering heights of 300 feet (100 m). The fragrant needles have white "racing stripes" on the undersides. In New England, this species has only naturalized in damp forests (reminiscent of its wet habitats in the northwest) in Connecticut.

Habitat

Forests

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
Growth form
the plant is a tree
Leaf form
the leaves are needle-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)
  • the seed cone is ellipsoid (oval, tapering to rounded ends)
  • the seed cone is ovoid (egg-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 lanceoloid (lance-shaped, widest below the middle and tapering to the ends)
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed cone base
    NA
    Seed cone bracts
    the bracts protrude beyond 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)
    • the seed cone is ellipsoid (oval, tapering to rounded ends)
    • the seed cone is ovoid (egg-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
    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
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    forests
  • 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

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Abies concolor

Synonyms

  • Abies menziesii Mirbel
  • Pseudotsuga taxifolia (Lamb.) Britt.

Family

Pinaceae

Genus

Pseudotsuga

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Our variety is Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco var. menziesii.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco var. menziesii E

coast Douglas-fir. Abies menziesii Mirbel; Pseudotsuga taxifolia (Lamb.) Britt. • CT, MA. 
 Forest edges, river banks, areas of habitation.