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Abies lasiocarpa - (Hook.)Nutt.                
                 
Common Name Subalpine Fir, Alpine Fir
Family Pinaceae
Synonyms A. subalpina. Pinus lasiocarpa.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Often found in poor and rocky soils[229], it is rarely seen below 600 metres. It grows in forests right up to the timber line where it is no more than a shrub on exposed slopes at high altitudes[226].
Range Western N. America - Alaska to Arizona and New Mexico.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       
Form: Pyramidal, Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of cone
Abies lasiocarpa is an evergreen Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-6


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Abies lasiocarpa Subalpine Fir, Alpine Fir


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
Abies lasiocarpa Subalpine Fir, Alpine Fir
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Inner bark;  Seed;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Gum;  Gum;  Tea.

The shoot tips are used as a tea substitute[177, 183]. The cones can be ground into a fine powder, then mixed with fat and used as a confection[257]. It is said to be a delicacy and an aid to the digestion[257]. The resin from the trunk is used as a chewing gum[257]. It is said to treat bad breath[257]. Inner bark[257]. No more information is given, but inner bark is often dried, ground into a powder and then used with cereal flours when making bread etc[K]. Seeds[257]. No more information is given, but the seeds are very small and fiddly to use. Seeds of this genus are generally oily with a resinous flavour and can be eaten raw or cooked[K].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antihalitosis;  Antiseptic;  Deodorant;  Emetic;  Foot care;  Laxative;  Miscellany;  Poultice;  TB;  Tonic.

Antiseptic[46, 61]. The gummy exudate that appears on the bark was soaked in water until soft and then applied to wounds[213]. An infusion of the resin has been used as an emetic to cleanse the insides[257]. The resin has also been chewed to treat bad breath[257]. A decoction of the bark is used as a tonic and in the treatment of colds and flu[257]. A poultice of the leaves has been used to treat chest colds and fevers[257]. An infusion has been taken to treat the coughing up of blood, which can be the first sign of TB, and as a laxative[257].
Other Uses
Baby care;  Deodorant;  Gum;  Gum;  Hair;  Incense;  Miscellany;  Repellent;  Wood.

The fragrant young leaves and twigs are used to repel moths or are burnt as an incense[46, 61, 169, 257]. They were also ground into a powder and used to make a baby powder and perfumes[226, 257]. A gum is obtained from the bark. It is antiseptic[46, 61] and was chewed by the N. American Indians in order to clean the teeth[226]. It was also used to plug holes in canoes[226]. An infusion of the leaves is used as a hair tonic[257]. The leaves can also be placed in the shoes as a foot deodorant[257]. Wood - light, soft, not strong. It is little used except as a fuel and for pulp[46, 61, 82]. The native North American Indians used it for making chairs and insect-proof storage boxes[257]. It was also used as a fuel and was said to burn for a long time[257].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Screen, Specimen. Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Very shade tolerant, especially when young, but growth is slower in dense shade[81]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[1]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about 5[200]. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope[200]. Occasionally planted for timber in N. Europe[50] but this species does not thrive in Britain[11]. It is a very cold-hardy tree but the milder winters of this country make it susceptible to damage by aphis and late frosts[1, 11, 81]. The sub-species A. lasiocarpa arizonica. (Merriam.)Lemmon. is growing somewhat better here[185]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200]. The crushed foliage has a balsam aroma[185]. Special Features:North American native, There are no flowers or blooms.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March[78]. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks[78]. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[80, 113]. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre[78] whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position[80].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(Hook.)Nutt.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1160200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[50]? Flora Europaea
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[81]Rushforth. K. Conifers.
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
[82]Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[169]Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden.
Covers all aspects of growing your own clothes, from fibre plants to dyes.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[185]Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles.
A bit out of date (first published in 1972), but an excellent guide to how well the various species of conifers grow in Britain giving locations of trees.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[213]Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food.
A nice book to read though it is difficult to look up individual plants since the book is divided into separate sections dealing with the different medicinal uses plus a section on edible plants. Common names are used instead of botanical.
[226]Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.
[229]Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

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Subject : Abies lasiocarpa  
             

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