Abies amabilis 'Compacta' / compact Pacific silver fir

Abies amabilis 'Compacta' is a dwarf, dense conifer with dark green foliage. This small, densely-branched Pacific silver fir is perfect for the medium-sized garden. It's distinguishable with its glossy, dark-green needle tops contrasting dramatically with the needles' silvery undersides and tiny resinous buds. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4.5 feet (1.5 m) tall and 2-thirds as wide, an annual growth rate of 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm)

[Robert L. Fincham] For the conifer collector, this is a valuable cultivar because so few Abies amabilis cultivars exist in the trade.

This cultivar originated as a seedling, selected and introduced in 1903 by S.B. Parsons & Sons Nursery, Flushing, New York.

Abies amabilis 'Compacta' seen growing in a private garden in Tacoma, Washington.
Photo by Vivian deZwager
Abies amabilis 'Compacta' — a closeup of foliage and pollen cones.
Photo by Vivian deZwager
Abies amabilis — a closeup of branch structure and immature pollen cones.
Photo by Vivian deZwager
Photo from September, 2013. This specimen is about four years old.
Photo by William Fletcher
Pictured specimen is about three years old, purchased from Porterhowse Farms(Don Howse).
Photo by William Fletcher


Erik Johnson

Can anyone recommend a source for Abies Amabilis compacta, or even any variety of Abies Amabilis other than 'Spreading Star'?

Maxwell Cohn

I have a young specimen in my collection. It's large enough that I can cut you a few scions this winter if you know how to graft. Otherwise, no clue. This is a very fussy species that doesn't grow well in most places other than where it's native.