An evergreen tree fifty to seventy-five feet high. Leaves: those of the main branches linear, rounded or notched at the apex, those of the branchlets flattened, and with long rigid points. Flowers: the staminate indigo-blue, from the axils of the previous year's leaves; the pistillate with violet, obovate scales, lateral, erect. Fruit: cones erect, cylindrical to ovoid, their broad obtuse scales deciduous from the persistent central axis.
Balsam Fir (Abies lasiocarpa)
This small conifer has smooth bark divided by shallow fissures somewhat roughened by cinnamon-red scales, and drooping lower branches, the upper ones forming spire-like heads. If you take hold of a branch it feels quite soft in the hand. The needles which are rounded or shallow-notched at the apex, are whitish below with a green midrib and the two resin-ducts are imbedded in them. The buds are small, round and gummy.