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Pseudotsuga Carričre 1867


David S. Gernandt
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taxon links Phylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Pinaceae Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Pinaceae


Pseudotsuga is a small genus of approximately five species distributed in eastern Asia and western North America. Pseudotsuga menziesii, with a distribution from western Canada to central Mexico, is one of the most economically important timber species in the world.


Medium to tall trees with straight stems and upright to spreading branches. Spirally arranged leaves (needles), reddish brown ovoid-conical vegetative buds. Reddish brown ovulate cones are pendulous with exserted bracts (Farjon 1990).

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Farjon (1990) recognized only four species of Pseudotsuga: Pseudotsuga macrocarpa from southern California, Pseudotsuga menziesii ranging from Canada to south-central Mexico, Pseudotsuga japonica from southern Japan, and Pseudotsuga sinensis from China. Included in the ToL phylogeny is also P. wilsoniana from Taiwan. In addition to P. wilsoniana, several other species have been segregated from Pseudotsuga sinensis (P. forrestii, P. salvadorii, P. gaussenii, P. brevifolia, P. xichangensis), but these have not been widely accepted. Mexican botanists tend to recognize four segregate species of Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca in Mexico: P. macrolepis, P. rehderi, P. guinieri, and P. flahaultii (Martínez 1963).

Relationships among the widely-accepted species were studied by Strauss et al. 1990 using DNA restriction fragments and by Gernandt and Liston (1999) using nuclear ribosomal DNA.

Other Names for Pseudotsuga Carričre 1867


Farjon, A. 1990. Pinaceae: drawings and descriptions of the genera Abies, Cedrus, Pseudolarix, Keteleeria, Nothotsuga, Tsuga, Cathaya, Pseudotsuga, Larix and Picea. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein.

Gernandt, D. S. and A. Liston. 1999. Internal transcribed spacer region evolution in Larix and Pseudotsgua (Pinaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 86:711-723.

Martínez, M. 1963. Las Pináceas Mexicanas. 3rd edition. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City.

Strauss, S. H., A. H. Doerksen, and J. R. Byrne. 1990. Evolutionary relationships of Douglas-fir and its relatives (genus Pseudotsuga) from DNA restriction fragment analysis. Canad. J. Bot. 68:1502-1510.

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca
Location El Chico, Hidalgo
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Copyright © 2004 David S. Gernandt
About This Page

David S. Gernandt
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to David S. Gernandt at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

Gernandt, David S. 2005. Pseudotsuga Carričre 1867. Douglas-fir. Version 12 January 2005 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Pseudotsuga/21630/2005.01.12 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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