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Abies durangensis

Abies durangensis - Durango fir, Abete de Durango
  • Abies durangensis - Durango fir, Abete de Durango  - Click to enlarge
  • Abies durangensis bark - Click to enlarge
  • Abies durangensis branches - Click to enlarge


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Product Information


Scientific name: Abies durangensis  Martínez  1942

Synonyms: Abies durangensis subsp. neodurangensis (Debreczy, I.Rácz & R.M.Salazar) Silba, Abies durangensis var. durangensis, Abies neodurangensis Debreczy, I.Rácz & R.M.Salazar

Infraspecific taxa: Abies durangensis var. coahuilensis (I.M.Johnst.) Martínez  1963

Common names: Durango fir (English), Abete de Durango (Spanish)



Tree to (20-)40 m tall, with trunk to 1(-1.5) m in diameter. Bark gray, darkening, reddening, and becoming deeply furrowed with age. Branchlets hairless or with short hairs in the deep grooves between the leaf bases. Buds 4-5 mm long, resin-coated. Needles arranged to the sides of and angled forward above the twigs, (1.5-)2.5-5(-6.5) cm long, shiny light green above, the tip rounded or bluntly pointed. Individual needles flat or a little plump in cross section and with a resin canal on either side touching the lower epidermis near the edge, without stomates above or with (one to) three to five incomplete lines of stomates in the groove near the tip and with 4-10 lines in each white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 10-20 mm long, purplish red. Seed cones cylindrical, 5-9(-11) cm long, 3-4(-4.5) cm across, green when young, maturing yellowish brown. Bracts from half as long as the hairy seed scales and hidden by them to about as long and peeking up between them. Persistent cone axis narrowly cylindrical. Seed body 6-8(-10) mm long, the wing 1.5-2 times as long. Cotyledons five to eight.

Northwestern and north-central Mexico from Chihuahua and Coahuila to northwestern Michoacán. Mixed with pines (Pinus), oaks (Quercus), and other conifers and hardwoods on deep, moist, rich soils of mountain ravines and canyons; (1,450-)1,800-2,500(-2,900) m. The climate is moist and cool, especially on N-facing slopes.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

Abies durangensis has an extensive distribution (extent of occurrence is >150,000 km²) and although scattered, can be abundant in some localities. Its relatively remote and inaccessible habitat and the fact that it is not a major timber tree appear to indicate that it is Least Concern, although there is no information to indicate if the taxon is or has declined. The more limited variety coahuilensis is assessed as Vulnerable, but this does not influence the status of the entire species. The typical variety would also be listed as Least Concern.

Abies durangensis occurs in high mountain valleys and steep canyons on the western side of the divide of the Sierra Madre Occidental, at elevations between (1,600-)2,000-2,900 m a.s.l. and usually on well drained talus or lithosols. It is a relatively rare constituent of coniferous forests in the Canadian Life Zone, with Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca, Pinus strobiformis, Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana, Cupressus lusitanica, Cupressus arizonica in the north of its range, Picea chihuahuana (only near El Salto, Durango), Pinus durangensis (in the south), Juniperus deppeana (locally) and some broad-leaved trees like Quercus castanea, Quercus rugosa, Prunus serotina. In Jalisco and Sinaloa it is restricted to canyon bottoms at altitudes ranging from 2,300 to 2,700 m a.s.l.

No specific threats are documented, but it must be assumed that there has been some impact of logging, which has at least affected the mixed conifer forests in which this species is a relatively rare component. The var. coahuilensis occurs in areas where forest fires could be a serious threat.

Durango fir is not a commercially important timber tree and is extremely rare in cultivation. Trees from high altitude provenances are being grown with some success, but mostly slowly, in the south of England and in Belgium.

No specific conservation measures are known for this species.


Cultivars: -



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights

Product CodeABI0N9P389
Weight1.5 kg
Height15 - 20 cm

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