seeds of Pseudotsuga menziesii, Douglas Fir
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Pseudotsuga menziesii, also known as the Douglas fir, is a conifer species belonging to the family Pinaceae. Synonyms include Abies doulasii var. pendula and Abies douglasii var. taxifolia. Other common names for the tree include Oregon pine and Columbian pine. Pseudotsuga menziesii is indigenous to the North Western region of the United States. The distribution of the Douglas fir is now mostly found along the coastal regions in British Columbia and California. The tree distribution also stretches to Mexico in Durango, Nuevo, and Sonora. Pseudotsuga menziesii grows in vast areas in both Europe (Denmark, United Kingdom) and South America (Chile). The tree species can grow to medium and tall heights depending on how conducive its environment is for growth. Thus, the range of height differences is wide, stretching from 20 to 100 metres. Leaves are soft to the touch, smooth and occur singly. Each leaf is 2 to 4 cm long and is both linear and flat. The value of Pseudotsuga menziesii derives from its softwood timber which is used mostly in construction. An additional use for the timber lies in flooring, joinery and making furniture. The usefulness of the timber lies in being durable, hard and strong. The tree has been under cultivation for such purposes in New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina. The tree has thrived so much since its introduction in New Zealand that it’s currently considered an invasive species. Pseudotsuga menziesii also serves as an ornamental plant in many parks and gardens around the globe. In addition to occasional decorating, the Douglas-fir is also the Christmas tree of choice for many Americans and Europeans. Thus, the tree is on many occasions grown for that one purpose. A type of brandy called eau de vie obtains flavour from the tree’s pods. Pseudotsuga menziesii is the largest plant in the Pinaceae family and can grow to over 350 years old.
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