Plant, any member of the plant kingdom, comprising about 260,000 known species of mosses, liverworts, ferns, herbaceous and woody plants, bushes, vines, trees, and various other forms that mantle the Earth and are also found in its waters. Plants range in size and complexity from small, nonvascular mosses, which depend on direct contact with surface water, to giant sequoia trees, the largest living organisms, which can draw water and minerals through their vascular systems to elevations of more than 100 m (330 ft).. read more


Fir, common name for any of a genus of trees (see Pine). The trees, known as true firs, generally have a straight trunk with somewhat pyramidal growth. The branches grow in whorls from the trunk. The cones, which are erect at maturity, are composed of thin, close scales. Each scale bears two winged seeds. The flat leaves are scattered, with the midribs showing clearly on the whitish undersides.

About 25 species of true firs are widely scattered throughout the northern hemisphere. The silver fir of Europe sometimes reaches a height of 46 m (150 ft), with large boughs curved upward at their outer extremities. The leaves are dark green above, with two white lines beneath. When seen from below, the tree appears to have a silvery color. It is abundant in the mountains of southern and central Europe. It is also found in Asia, in the Caucasus Mountains.

Scientific classification: Firs make up the genus Abies, of the family Pinaceae. The silver fir of Europe is classified as Abies alba; the balsam fir as Abies balsamea; the noble fir as Abies procera; the subalpine fir as Abies lasiocarpa, and the lowland, or grand, fir as Abies grandis.

Douglas Fir, common name for a large coniferous tree, named for the British botanist David Douglas. It is sometimes called Douglas spruce but is not closely related to either the firs or the spruces. The Douglas fir occasionally reaches a height of 76 m (250 ft) and commonly grows to 60 m (200 ft) in height and 2 m (6 ft) in diameter. It is the most important timber tree of the western United States and British Columbia and is particularly abundant in Oregon and Washington. Douglas fir lumber, usually known as Oregon pine or yellow fir, amounts annually to about one-fourth of all the lumber produced in the United States. The saplings are popular as Christmas trees. See also Pine.

Scientific classification: The Douglas fir belongs to the family Pinaceae. It is classified as Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Photos of Plants