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Abies nephrolepis

Abies nephrolepis - Manchurian fir, Hinggan fir, Amur fir, Khinghan fir, Siberian whitebark fir
  • Abies nephrolepis - Manchurian fir, Hinggan fir, Amur fir, Khinghan fir, Siberian whitebark fir - Click to enlarge
  • Abies nephrolepis cones - Click to enlarge
  • Abies nephrolepis leaves - Click to enlarge


Product Information


Scientific name: Abies nephrolepis  (Trautvetter) Maximowicz  1866

Synonyms: Abies koreana f. prostrata Kolesn., Abies nephrolepis f. chlorocarpa E.H. Wilson, Abies sibirica Korsh., Abies sibirica var. nephrolepis Trautv. ex Maxim., Abies sibiriconephrolepis Taken. & J.J. Chien, Abies veitchii var. nephrolepis (Trautv. ex Maxim.) Mast., Abies yoneyamae Soto, Pinus nephrolepis (Trautv. ex Maxim.) Voss

Common names: Manchurian fir, Hinggan fir, Amur fir, Khinghan fir, Siberian whitebark fir (English), Pikhta amurskaya (Russian), Chou lengshan (Chinese), Punbi namu (Korean)



Tree to 25(-35) m tall, with trunk to 0.8(-1.2) m in diameter. Bark pale gray, eventually becoming shallowly fissured. Branchlets with a few to many dark hairs in the shallow grooves between the leaf bases. Buds 4-5 mm long, thinly resinous mostly at the tip. Needles angled forward, arranged to the sides and above the twigs, (1-)1.5-2(-3) cm long, shiny bright green above, the tips pointed on cone-bearing shoots, otherwise shallowly notched. Individual needles flat in cross section with the edges rolled down and with a resin canal closer to the top than the bottom of either side, often with two or three short lines of stomates in the groove above near the tip and with 8-10 lines in each grayish white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 35-45 mm long, reddish purple. Seed cones elongate egg-shaped to cylindrical, (4-)5-7.5(-9.5) cm long, (1.5-)2-3(-3.5) cm in diameter, reddish purple (or green) when young, maturing purplish brown. Bracts a little shorter than the fuzzy, kidney-shaped seed scales (hence the scientific name, “kidney scale”) but with a long, slender tip that sticks out between the scales without bending back down over them. Persistent cone axis narrowly conical. Seed body 4-6 mm long, the wing almost as long. Cotyledons four or five.

Southeastern Russian Far East east of the Uda River, south to Shanxi province (China) and North Cholla province (South Korea), very discontinuous south of Russia. Forming pure stands or scattered among other conifers and deciduous hardwoods in wet areas on well-drained mountain soils; (300-)700-2,100 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

In the absence of any evidence for significant decline, Abies nephrolepis is assessed as Least Concern.

The species forms forests over a large region of northeast Asia.  The total population is thought to be declining due to logging.

This is a species of low to medium high mountains, occurring at elevations between 500 m and 700 m a.s.l. in E Siberia at the northern limit of its range, between 750 m and 2,000 m a.s.l. in NE China. This species grows on a variety of well drained mountain soils. The climate is cold, with short, cool and moist summers and long, cold winters. Most of the annual precipitation is snow. It is usually associated with other conifers, e.g. Pinus koraiensis and Picea jezoensis; also with Pinus pumila and Juniperus sabina var. davurica at higher elevations (maritime provinces of the Russian Far East); in the interior with Picea obovata, Larix gmelinii, Pinus sibirica or Abies sibirica. Betula spp. and Sorbus amurensis are common associated broad-leaved trees.

Logging is the primary threat, especially when accompanied by an increase in fire or grazing so that regeneration is inhibited or prevented.

Manchurian fir is an important timber tree in NE China and Korea. Its wood is used in carpentry and for plywood and veneer. The relatively small size of this tree on marginal sites makes exploitation in these areas less likely; the better, larger trees come from mixed conifer forests at middle elevations in the mountains. In horticulture, it was introduced to Great Britain in 1908 from the botanic garden in St. Petersburg, Russia. It remains a rarely planted species, which is susceptible to damage by late spring frosts in countries with an Atlantic maritime climate.

Parts of the distribution of this species occur within protected areas, but the greater proportion is outside such reserves.



Abies nephrolepis ’Elegans’ 
Abies nephrolepis ’Mr. Vitamvas’ 
Abies nephrolepis ’Nada’  
Abies nephrolepis ’Variegated’
Abies nephrolepis ’Velislava’



  • 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 CodeABICFMQJ52
Weight1.5 kg
Height20 - 25 cm

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