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Abies beshanzuensis

Abies beshanzuensis - Baishan fir description


Scientific name: Abies beshanzuensis   M.H. Wu  1976

Synonyms: Abies beshanzuensis var. beshanzuensis, Abies fabri subsp. beshanzuensis (M.H.Wu) Silba, Abies fabri var. beshanzuensis (M.H.Wu) Silba

Common names: Baishan fir, Baishanzu fir, Baishanzu lengshan (Chinese)



It is one of the most endangered trees in the world. Only three currently exist in the wild, all of which are located in the Baishanzu Mountain Nature Reserve.

Tree to 20(-30) m tall, with trunk to 0.6(-1) m in diameter. Bark pale gray, breaking up somewhat and becoming dark reddish brown with age. Branchlets hairless or minutely hairy, especially in the deep grooves between the leaf bases. Buds 4-7 mm long, with a thin film of white resin. Needles arranged to the sides of the twigs in several rows on lower branches, also or exclusively turned upward on upper branches with seed cones, (1-)1.5-3.5(-5) cm long, glossy dark green above, the tip usually notched. Individual needles flat in cross section and with a resin canal on either side usually touching the lower epidermis near the margin, without stomates above and with 10-12 rows of stomates in each silvery to greenish white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones (10-)15-25 mm long, red. Seed cones elongate egg-shaped to cylindrical, (6-)8-12 cm long, (3-)3.5-4.5(-5) cm across, yellowish to dark green when young, maturing light to dark brown. Bracts about as long as the scarcely hairy seed scales and bent back slightly oven them, sometimes hidden. Persistent cone axis narrowly conical. Seed body (6-)8-12 mm long, the wing about as long. Cotyledons four to six. Abies beshanzuensis is only known from a few populations on widely separated mountains scattered across southern China, one of which, Baishanzu, gave its name to the species. These populations differ a little from to the next and were originally described as separate species.

Endemic to China's Zhejiang Province where it occurs on Mt. Baishanzu northeast of Qingyuan in the Tung-Kung Range; 1,500-1,700 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered


Varieties: -


Attribution from: Conifers Garden