Abies concolor (Gordon & Gennd.) Lindl.

Colorado White Fir

Conical to columnar tree growing about 20-30 m tall. Shoots mostly hairless. Buds more or less globular to ovoid, resinous. Branches horizontal. Leaves well separated, 40-60 mm long, 2 mm wide, curving outwards and upwards on exposed branches, 1 whitish band above and 2 below, waxy blue-grey, tips pointed or rounded (not notched), with a fruity orange smell when crushed. Mature cone 7-12 cm long.

Fresh new growth very attractive. Grows naturally in the lower montane conifer forests of the Siskyou Mts of S Oregon, Mt Shasta and Sierra Nevada Ranges of California, the only fir extending into the arid areas of New Mexico, Arizona and S California at alt. 1000-3000 m.


Leaves long, waxy blue, widespread, often bending upwards, not notched at the tip, smelling of orange when crushed; cf. A. grandis.

NSW: Batlow (Pilot Hill Arboretum). VIC: Emerald Lake (east of post office &by car park beyond lake, several c. 30 m tall); Camberwell (7 Rochester Ave); Mt Macedon (old Taylor &Sangster Nsy site). ACT: East Telopea Park, ptd c. 1950.

Source: Spencer, R. (1995). Pinaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image

Abies concolor 'Candicans'

Extremely pale blue, almost white, variant of the type that is propagated by grafting. Similar to 'Argentea' which is a seedling variant. Originated Arboretum des Barres, Nogent-sur-Vernissau, France.

Abies concolor 'Compacta'

Low-growing, dwarf, compact, branches dense, needles erect or sickle-shaped, very waxy. Also incorrectly known as 'Glauca Compacta', a later name for the same plant. Origin UK in 1930s.

Abies concolor 'Gables Weeper'

Dwarf, spreading, becoming pendulous. Leaves short, grey-green. Originated J. B. Gable as seedling in nursery at Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, introduced Watnong Nursery, Morris Plains, New Jersey, USA in 1966.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Pinopsida
order     Pinales
family      Pinaceae
genus       Abies Mill.