Abies magnifica

A. Murray bis

Proc. Roy. Hort. Soc. London 3: 318. 1863.

Common names: California red fir Shasta red fir
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 2.

Trees to 57m; trunk to 2.5m diam.; crown narrowly conic. Bark grayish, thin, with age thickening and becoming deeply furrowed with ridges often 4 times wider than furrows, plates reddish. Branches ascending in upper crown, descending in lower crown; twigs opposite to whorled, light yellow to ± tan, reddish-pubescent for 1–2 years. Buds hidden by leaves or exposed, usually dark-brown, ovoid, small, not resinous or with resin drop near tip, apex rounded; basal scales short, broad, equilaterally triangular, densely pubescent, not resinous, margins entire to crenate, apex sharp-pointed. Leaves 2–3.7cm × 2mm, mostly 1-ranked, flexible, the proximal portion often appressed to twig for 2–3mm (best seen on abaxial surface of twig), distal portion divergent; cross-section flat, with or without weak groove adaxially toward leaf base, or cross-section 3–4-sided on fertile branches; odor camphorlike; abaxial surface with 2 glaucous bands, each band with 4–5 stomatal rows; adaxial surface blue-green to silvery blue, with single glaucous band that may divide into 2 toward leaf base, band with (8–) 10 (–13) stomatal rows at midleaf; apex rounded or, on fertile branches, somewhat pointed; resin canals small, near margins and abaxial epidermal layer. Pollen cones at pollination ± purple or reddish-brown. Seed-cones oblong-cylindric, 15–20 × 7–10cm, purple at first but becoming yellowish-brown or greenish brown, sessile, apex round; scales ca. 3 × 4cm, pubescent; bracts included to exserted and reflexed (Shasta red fir) over scales. Seeds 15 × 6mm, body dark reddish-brown; wing about as long as body, rose; cotyledons 7–8.2n =24.

Habitat: Mixed coniferous forests
Elevation: 1400–2700m


Abies magnifica often exists in extensive high elevation stands in the Sierra Nevada; its close relative A. procera occurs in small mountaintop populations relatively isolated from one another. As expected for isolated populations, A. procera produces large interpopulation variation in morphology (J.Maze and W.H. Parker 1983) and chemistry (E.Zavarin et al. 1978). Where the two species meet in southern Oregon and northern California, many populations are intermediate; these have been called A. magnifica var. shastensis Lemmon. The status of such intermediates is unsettled. They may be accepted as hybrids between A. magnifica and A. procera (Liu T. S. 1971) or, alternatively, the paleontological record suggests that the two species may have originated from the intermediates (E.Zavarin et al. 1978). Individuals from this region should be assigned to A. magnifica, A. procera, or A. magnifica × procera (E.L. Parker 1963), depending on the morphologic criteria selected to differentiate the species, though clearly these individuals are genetically quite different from those near the type localities of the two species.

An extensive study of this variation, as proposed by E.Zavarin et al. (1978), is warranted. Such a study should consider data from the type localities as a basis of comparison. Moreover, to evaluate this situation critically, one should first determine if any genetic exchange occurs between Abies lasiocarpa and A. procera that may complicate an evaluation.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Abies magnifica"
blue-green +  and silvery blue +
round +, pointed +, , +, rounded +  and sharp-pointed +
fan--shaped +
Richard S. Hunt +
A. Murray bis +
2;single;2 +
thickening +  and thin +
twisted;sessile +
2-ranked +  and 1-ranked +
constricted +
broadened +
dark reddish-brown +
included +  and exserted +
descending +  and ascending +
flattened +
not +  and resinous +
oblong;ovate +
California red fir +  and Shasta red fir +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
Calif. +, Nev. +  and Oreg. +
1400–2700m +
Mixed coniferous forests +
less circular +  and broadly elliptic +
raised +, flush +  and prominent +
grooved +  and twisted +
persisting +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (3.7 cm37 mm <br />0.037 m <br />) +
usually notched +  and rounded +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (?) +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
entire;crenate +
not winged +  and 2-winged +
reddish-brown +  and purple +
oblong-cylindric +  and ovate +
Proc. Roy. Hort. Soc. London +
not resinous +
4 times wider than furrows +
fibrous;woody +
arranged +  and overlapping +
flattened +
4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br /> (?) +
grouped +  and solitary +
purple at-first but becoming yellowish-brown or greenish brown +
long-persistent +
15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br /> (20 cm200 mm <br />0.2 m <br />) +
not falling +  and maturing +
oblong-cylindric +
7 cm70 mm <br />0.07 m <br /> (10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br />) +
15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br /> (?) +
6 cm60 mm <br />0.06 m <br /> (?) +
twisted +  and sessile +
2-ranked +  and 1-ranked +
constricted +
broadened +
reduced;well-defined short +
Abies magnifica +
species +
decurrent +  and elongate +
opposite +  and whorled +
light yellow +  and more or less tan +
reddish-pubescent +
fan--shaped +
reduced +
1 +  and 2 +