Colorado Plant Database

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DOUGLAS-FIR - Pseudotsuga menziesii

IMAGE
Courtesy of Lookout Mountain Nature Center, lmnc.jeffco.us
Courtesy of Lookout Mountain Nature Center, lmnc.jeffco.us
Courtesy of Lookout Mountain Nature Center, lmnc.jeffco.us

IDENTIFICATION
Common Name: DOUGLAS-FIR
Scientific Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii
Derivation: pseudo - false.
Family: Pine - Pinaceae
Species Characteristics: flat needles; female cones with 3-pronged bracts (small leaf-like structures) which look like snake tongues or the back half of a mouse.
Mature Height: to 150 feet.
Mature Spread: 15 to 25 feet.
Flower Color: orange
Flower Size: small (not technically a flower).
Fruit Color: red-brown
Fruit Type: cone (seed bearing structure in conifers).
Leaf Type: needle
ECOLOGY
Origin: native
Frequency: common
Growth Form: tree
Class: gymnosperm (plant with naked seed as in conifers).
Season of Bloom: late spring (May).
Life Zone: foothills/montane.
Habitat: moist canyon walls and north facing slopes at 5,000 to 10,000 feet elevation.
Eco. Relationships: anemophily is an effective pollination mechanism for plants such as this which are very numerous and grow in relatively windy regions; one of host plants for pine white butterfly; alternate host for gall insects on spruce.

WEED MANAGEMENT

LANDSCAPING
Availability: commonly available.
Landscaping Use: specimen, screen, windbreak.
Moisture Requirement: requires periodic irrigation but very sensitive to overwatering.
Light Requirement: shade when young, sun in age.
Soil Requirement: medium to coarse, pH 6.0 to 7.0, moist.

HUMAN CONNECTIONS
Other Uses: not a true fir but one of the most significant timber species on the west coast of the United States where it can grow several hundred feet high; Intermountain Douglas-fir is smaller, grows more slowly, and has bluish foliage.

Version: 2.7.0      Release Date: January 2014       ©2010 Jefferson County ITS

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