Douglas-fir

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Douglas-fir is the English name applied in common to evergreen coniferous trees of the genus Pseudotsuga (pronounced /ˌsjuːdoʊˈtsuːɡə/)[1] in the family Pinaceae. There are five species, two in western North America, one in Mexico, and two in eastern Asia. Nineteenth-century botanists had problems in classifying Douglas-firs, due to the species' similarity to various other conifers better known at the time; they have at times been classified in Pinus, Picea, Abies, Tsuga, and even Sequoia. Because of its distinctive cones, Douglas-firs were finally placed in the new genus Pseudotsuga (meaning "false hemlock") by the French botanist Carrière in 1867. The genus name has also been hyphenated as Pseudo-tsuga.

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The common name Douglas-fir honours David Douglas, the Scottish botanist who first introduced P. menziesii into cultivation at Scone Palace in 1827.[2] Douglas is known for introducing many North American native conifers to Europe. The hyphen in the name indicates that Douglas-firs are not true firs, not being members of the genus Abies.[3]

Douglas-firs are medium-size to large evergreen trees, 20–120 metres (66–390 ft) tall. The leaves are flat, soft, linear, and completely encircle the branches (this can be useful in distinguishing it from other species), generally resembling those of the firs. The female cones are pendulous, with persistent scales (unlike true firs), and are distinctive in having a long tridentine (three-pointed) bract that protrudes prominently above each scale.

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