Factoid #15

THIS JUST IN! Shocking news for us Northwesterners: The Douglas Fir is not–I repeat NOT–an actual fir tree.

I know. We’ve been living a lie.

For those of you not privileged to live anywhere west of the Cascade Mountains and north of the Bay Area, these trees are EVERYWHERE. Tall, dark and handsome. And everyone calls ’em fir trees (unless we’re like, “oh, look at that eagle in that pine tree–” but that’s a whole other issue).

courtesy Wikipedia

courtesy Wikipedia

Turns out the good ol’ Doug Fir isn’t even in the genus Abies. Nope, it’s a Pseudotsuga. All I can make of that name is that it’s a “kinda-sorta tsuga”–whatever a tsuga is.  The species is menziesii (so says Dr. Wikipedia), named after naturalist Archibald Menzies. Dr. Wiki says he was a “rival” to naturalist David Douglas, so I bet ol’ Archie felt pretty smug when he got that species name. Joke’s on him, though–no one calls ’em Menzie-firs!