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Abies forrestii

Abies forrestii
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Product Information

Scientific name: Abies forrestii   Coltman-Rogers  1919

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

Common names: Forrest 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.

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

The species as a whole does not meet any of the criteria for a threatened category and is therefore assessed as Least Concern. It mainly forms pure stands but with mixed conifers and broadleafed trees especially at the forest margins. It is uncertain if the overall population is decreasing. The species forms forests in pure stands near the tree limit, or is mixed with Picea likiangensis, Larix potaninii, Tsuga dumosa and some broad-leaved trees, e.g. Betula albo-sinensis, Acer spp. and Sorbus spp. at lower elevations. An ericaceous lower shrub layer with Rhododendron spp. is often prominent. Forrest fir and and its several varieties occur at high altitudes, often up to the tree line and consequently only yield timber suitable for saw mill processing from larger trees at its lowest altitudinal range. Exploitation has (at least officially) ceased with Chinese forest conservation law now prohibiting logging in old growth forest in the western provinces. Having been collected on numerous occasions by the famous European plant hunters of the early twentieth century it was introduced to Europe and the United States where it is still quite common in arboreta and private large gardens. The Government of China has recently imposed a logging ban in western China. This species is also known from several protected areas.



  • 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 CodeABIPPWHF86
Weight1.5 kg
Height15 - 20 cm

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