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Balsam Fir

( Abies balsamea )

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Balsam Fir
Canada Balsam
Eastern Fir
Bracted Balsam Fir
Blister Fir
White Fir
Pinaceae
Abies
Abies balsamea
(Linnaeus) Miller
Characteristics

Tree

Evergreen

1

Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Clay, Sand, Loam, Humus Enriched

Acidophile

Moist

No

No

No

No

AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NF, NU
Habitat Considerations

Arctic Cordillera, Taiga Shield, Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime, Boreal Plains, Prairies, Montane Cordillera, Hudson Plains

Woodland, Riparian, Swamp/Marsh

Woodland
Design Considerations

1500 cm

2500 cm

May - Jun

Yellow|Green/Brown

No

Yes

Purple|Brown

Yes

Columbia silkmoth| Pine white butterfly (Neophasia menapia)

Yes

Yes

No

No


No

Squirrels, Birds

No
Conservation Status

No


Interesting Tidbits


Attacked by spruce bud worm. Wood is used for pulp and paper. A common Christmas tree species. (TREEmendous) Prefers north-facing slopes. Edible parts of the plant (as a condiment, gum, tea) are the inner bark (cooked or chewed) and the resin blisters that are easily popped open on the bark. There are various medicinal uses for this plant (perhaps most common is its use as a poultice). Plants for a future also cites uses as an analgesic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic,diuretic and stimulant. By-products of resin: balsam oil and turpentine. Balsam has the fortunate property of refracting light to exactly the same extent that glass does so that the balsam matrix, the cover glass, and the microscope lenses become one optical system with the same refractive index. (Peattie) Sensory Aspects: Aromatic, with very sticky resin.


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