Data mode


Sign up

Copy permalink to share

Abies balsamea (Linnaeus) P. Miller. Section: Balsamea. Balsam Fir, Northern Balsam, Blister Pine, Fir Pine. Phen: Apr-May. Hab: High elevation forests and cliffs (in VA and northwards); high elevation frost-pocket wetlands (WV), northwards somewhat more general in cool, mountain areas. Dist: NL (Newfoundland) and NL (Labrador) west to n. AB, south to NY, PA, MI, WI, and IA, and (disjunct) in the mountains to n. VA and e. WV.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: There has been considerable debate over the taxonomic status of some, especially southern, populations of A. balsamea, which show some transition in characters toward A. fraseri, and have been variously treated as A. intermedia Fulling, A. balsamea var. phanerolepis Fernald, or A. ×phanerolepis (Fernald) Liu. Variation in e. North American Abies is somewhat clinal, with the greatest geographical and morphological discontinuity between n. VA and s. VA. It seems best, therefore, to recognize A. fraseri as a species and A. balsamea as a species (which includes the clinal var. phanerolepis).

Other Comments: The balsam woolly adelgid, an alien pest, is afflicting this species in Shenandoah National Park.

Synonymy: = C, FNA2, K1, K3, K4, Mi, NE, NY, Pa, Va, W, Liu (1971), Price (1989); > Abies ×phanerolepis (Fernald) T.S.Liu – Liu (1971); > Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. – Fulling (1936); > Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. var. balsamea – F, G; > Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. var. phanerolepis Fernald – F, G, WV; > Abies intermedia Fulling – Fulling (1936)

Show in key(s)

Show parent genus

Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FAC
  • Great Plains: FAC
  • Midwest: FACW
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FAC

Heliophily ?: 4

Your browser does not support SVGs

Hover over a shape, letter, icon, or arrow on the map for definition or see the legend.

image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷


See something wrong or missing on about Abies balsamea? Let us know here: (Please include your name and email if at all complicated so we can clarify if needed.) We greatly appreciate feedback, and will include updates from you in our next webapp update, which can take a few months.

Cite as...