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Abies homolepis var. umbellata

Abies homolepis var. umbellata
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Product Information

Scientific name: Abies homolepis var. umbellata  (H.Mayr) E.H.Wilson  1916

Synonyms: Abies brachyphylla var. umbellata (Mayr) Dallim. & A.B.Jacks., Abies homolepis subsp. umbellata (Mayr) Silba, Abies homolepis f. umbilicata (Mayr) Schelle, Abies umbellata Mayr, Abies umbilicata Mayr, Pinus umbilicata (Mayr) Voss

Common names: Mitsumine fir, Mitsumine-momi (Japanese)



Tree to 35 m tall, with trunk to 1.5 m in diameter. More similar to Nikko fir (Abies homolepis) in appearance than to momi fir (Abies firma), but the few differences from the former parent tend toward the latter one. Most notable differences from Nikko fir lie in the seed cones, which are broader in the hybrid (4-5 cm across), green rather than purple, and with longer bracts that just stick out between the seed scales, especially toward the base of the cone. Needles have more lines of stomates (13-15) in each stomatal band. Some hairs in the deep grooves on the twigs might be expected in their first season but are generally not found. Seed cones 10-14 cm long, 4-5 cm wide, greenish; apex more or less umbilicate.

Mount Mitsumine and other peaks of central Honshū (Japan). Growing with Abies homolepis in the vicinity of Abies firma; 1,000-1,200 m. The climate is cool and humid.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient

Doubts about the taxonomic status of this taxon require an assessment of Data Deficient. There is no information on population size or trends. Near the tree limit it forms either pure stands, or mixtures with A. veitchii and/or Larix kaempferi, but at lower elevations it occurs in the mixed coniferous deciduous forests, with e.g. Fagus crenata, Quercus crispula, Betula grossa, Tsuga diversifolia, Thuja standishii, Pinus densiflora. Abies firma replaces Abies homolepis below 1,100 m.  However, Japanese Deer are a serious problem, reducing regeneration and sometimes killing larger trees through ring-barking. It is fairly widely planted as an ornamental tree in Japan as well as in Europe, where it appears to be one of the least demanding species in the genus. A few cultivars are known in Japan as well as in Europe (independently derived), mostly being dwarfed forms suitable for Japanese gardens or rockeries. There is no special protection system for this variety. However, most localities are now at least protected from loggin.  



  • 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 reserved.

Product CodeABIPI0D026

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