Abies magnifica A. Murray bis var. critchfieldii var. nov. Lanner (Critchfield red fir) is described. The new variety comprises the southernmost Sierra Nevada populations of California red fir. It differs from the typical variety in having smaller cones with protruding cone bracts. Because of the protruding bracts, populations of the new variety have been assumed to be disjuncts of the bracted A. magnifica var. shastensis Lemmon (Shasta red fir), described over a century ago from Mt. Shasta and considered present in NW California and SW Oregon. However, geographic patterns of morphological variation, artificial crossing results, and recent molecular studies indicate that Shasta red fir consists of California red fir introgressed by noble fir (A. procera Rehder), and that the new variety is not hybridized with noble fir.
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Vol. 57 • No. 2