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Abies mariesii

 Abies mariesii - Maries fir description


Scientific name: Abies mariesii   M.T. Masters 1879

Synonyms: Pinus mariesii (Mast.) Voss

Common names: Maries fir



 Tree to 25(-30) m tall, or just 5 m or less at the alpine timberline, with trunk to 1 m in diameter. Bark purple-tinged very pale gray, finally breaking up somewhat and darkening with age on the lower trunk. Branchlets densely covered with fine reddish brown hairs, deeply but narrowly grooved. Buds 2-3 mm long, resinous and hairy. Needles arranged to the sides and angling forward, but shorter and even more densely curved upward and covering the twigs, (0.6-)1.5-2.5 cm long, dark green above, the tips rounded or notched. Individual needles flat in cross section, with a resin canal on either side touching the lower epidermis near the margin of the leaf, without stomates above and with (10-)12(-14) lines of stomates in each white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 15-20 mm long, purplish brown. Seed cones egg-shaped, (4-)6-9 cm long, (1.5-)2-4(4.5) cm across, very dark purple when young, maturing dark purplish brown. Bracts up to about half as long as the internally densely hairy seed scales and hidden by them. Persistent cone axis spindle-shaped. Seed body (4-)6-8 mm long, the wing up to 1.5 times as long. Cotyledons four to six.

Charles Maries (ca.1851-1902) brought this species to the attention of European botanists after finding it on Mount Hakkoda in 1878, while collecting for the Veitch nursery firm, and it was described from his collections there.

Mountains of central and northern Honshu (Japan). Forming pure stands near timberline or mixed with several other conifers and a few hardwoods on moist soils in the subalpine zone; (600-)1,000-2,600(-2,900) m. The climate is cold, with abundant winter snow and cool, moist summers, the annual precipitation exceeds 2,000 mm in the mountains nearest to the Sea of Japan.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern



Abies mariesii 'Dr Fricks'


Attribution from: Conifers Garden