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Abies kawakamii

Abies kawakamii - Taiwan fir description


Scientific name: Abies kawakamii  (Hayata) T. Itô  1909

Synonyms: Abies mariesii var. kawakamii Hayata

Common names: Formosan fir, Taiwan fir, Kawakami fir, Taiwan lengshan (Chinese)



Tree to 20(-35) m tall, with trunk to 1 m in diameter. Bark pale gray, soon becoming scaly and later darkening and becoming furrowed. Branchlets densely hairy, grooved between the leaf bases. Buds 4-5 mm long, very resinous. Needles arranged densely to the sides and above the twigs, where shorter, (0.5-)1-2(-3) cm long, glossy bright deep green above, the tips rounded or slightly notched. Individual needles flat or slightly plump in cross section and with a resin canal on either side touching the lower epidermis near the edges, with a few lines of stomates above and with 8-12 lines of stomates in each white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 9-13 mm long, greenish yellow. Seed cones oblong, 5-7.5(-9) cm long, 3-4.5 cm across, reddish purple when young, maturing purplish brown. Bracts half to two-thirds as long as the fuzzy seed scales and hidden by them. Persistent cone axis conical or swelling slightly below the middle. Seed body (6-)7-9 mm long, the wing about as long. Cotyledons four or five.

The specific epithet honors Takiwa Kawakami (1871-1915), the Japanese naturalist who collected the type specimen on Yü Shan (Mount Morrison), the highest peak in Taiwan.

Central mountain ranges of Taiwan. Forming pure stands and mixed with other conifers and a few hardwoods in the subalpine zone, particularly on the northern and northeastern side of the peaks; (2,400-)2,800-3,500(-3,800) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened




Attribution from: Conifers Garden