What’s In A Name?


FirReal Nature Connections is a play on words. I replaced “For” with “Fir” because I am very connected to Coastal Douglas-Fir trees, which aren’t actually true firs!

I will indulge my “horty” (horticulturalist) side and explain.

I still remember where I was a decade ago with my college Plant ID class when I learned this, not so easily pronounced, plant name. I thought I’d never remember it, let alone how to spell it.  Yet lo and behold, it was forever etched in my brain.

The scientific/latin name is Pseudotsuga menziesii subspecies menziesii. The common name suggests it’s a fir, the latin name a hemlock; Tsuga, it’s needles a spruce; attached directly to the twig with petioles, and it is classed in the pine; Pinaceae family.

True firs are classified under the Abies genus. They have cones that are perched upright, that rarely drop to the ground intact, and are found near the top of the tree. Their needles are attached to the twig with what looks like a suction cup.

Douglas-Fir cones can be found hanging down from the branches and lower in the tree. They stay intact when they drop and can be seen in and under the tree. They are easily distinguished from other conifer cones by their “flattened mouse butt” looking bracts.

There’s just something about these towering giants with beautiful, soft bark that I am drawn to. I chose to honour them in this way.

It is my wish that we all honour them, and all trees, by caring for them and protecting them.

There are so many amazing species as you walk even a short distance in the forest.

Which one calls your name?

Douglas Fir Cone

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