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ABIES lasiocarpa 'Compacta'

Image of Abies lasiocarpa var. arizonica 'Compacta'

Russell Stafford

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

ABIES lasiocarpa var. arizonica 'Compacta'

Plant Common Name

Compact Corkbark Fir, Corkbark Fir

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Unlike its parent, the spire-like subalpine fir, compact corkbark fir looks like a silvery green plump pyramid at maturity. A cone-bearing evergreen shrub with green needles that have a silver-blue cast, 'Compacta' was selected from trees native to the southern Rocky Mountains in Arizona and New Mexico in the American Southwest. Its rarely seen soft bark is gray to nearly white, smooth but mildly bumpy, and thicker than the typical subalpine fir.

The short but flattened needles whorl around the tree's twigs. They are dark green but covered in a silvery film (called a bloom). In early summer, male cones appear among the needles and shed their pollen. Carried by the wind, the pollen reaches the female cones in the upper shrub branches and then causes the cones to become a lovely purple before ripening to brown.

Grow 'Compacta' in full to partial sun in a fertile but moist soil that has good drainage. Avoid highly alkaline soil. Its slow-growth rate and smaller mature height lends itself well to foundation plantings to soften building corners, as an accent in the mixed shrub border or as a large specimen in a lawn or rockery. It could also be grown in a large container.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m

  • Width

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Southwestern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No