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Abies forrestii  

Abies forrestii - Forrest’s fir description


Scientific name: Abies forrestii   Coltman-Rogers  1919

Synonyms: Abies chengii Rushforth, Abies delavayi Diels, Abies forrestii Craib, Abies delavayi var. forrestii (Coltm.-Rog.) A.B.Jacks., Abies forrestii subsp. chengii (Rushforth) Silba, Abies forrestii var. chengii (Rushforth) Silba, Abies forrestii var. forrestii, Abies georgei Hand.-Mazz.

Infraspecific taxa: Abies forrestii var. ferreana (Bordères & Gaussen) Farjon & Silba  1990, Abies forrestii var. georgei (Orr) Farjon  1990, Abies forrestii var. smithii R.Vig. & Gaussen  1929

Common names: Forrest’s fir, Chuandian Lengshan (Chinese)



Tree to 30(-40) m tall, with trunk to 1(-1.5) m in diameter. Bark gray, reddening and becoming fissured with age. Branchlets hairless to very fuzzy, especially in the shallow grooves between the leaf bases. Buds 4-10 mm long, thickly coated with white to yellowish resin. Needles arranged to the sides in several rows and also rising above the twigs and angled forward to cover them, 1.5-3(-4) cm long, shiny dark green to bluish green above, the tip usually notched but sometimes bluntly to sharply pointed. Individual needles flat or a little plump in cross section and with a resin canal on either side touching the lower epidermis, or sometimes away from it, a little way in from the margin, which may be straight or a little curled under, without stomates in the groove above and with 9-11 lines of stomates in each white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 25-45 mm long, purple. Seed cones elongate egg-shaped to cylindrical, (6-)7-11(-14) cm long, (3.5-)4-5.5(-6) cm across, dark purple when young, maturing purplish or blackish brown. Bract body about as long as the minutely fuzzy seed scales, with a projecting tip and sticking straight up between the scales, or sometimes curled back over them. Persistent cone axis broadly conical or swollen in the middle. Seed body 7-10 mm long, the wing about as long. Cotyledons four to six.

Both varieties of this species, which are scattered across the whole geographic range, are named for George Forrest (1873-1932), a British plant collector who made seven expeditions to Yunnan between 1904 and 1932, dying on the last one.

Southwestern China, in southwestern Sichuan, northwestern Yunnan, and southeastern Xizang (Tibet). Forming pure stands near the alpine tree line or mixed with other conifers and progressively more hardwoods below this; (2,400-)2,900-4,000(-4,500) m. The climate is cold and wet, annual precipitation ranges from 1,000 mm to 2,000 mm.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern


Varieties: -


Attribution from: Conifers Garden