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Abies pindrow

Abies pindrow
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Product Information

Scientific name: Abies pindrow   (Royle ex D.Don) Royle  1836

Synonyms: Abies chiloensis Carrière, Abies himalayensis Lavallée, Picea herbertiana Madden, Picea pindrow (Royle ex D.Don) Loudon, Pinus naphta Antoine, Pinus pindrow Royle ex D.Don, Taxus lambertiana Wall.

Common names: Pindrow fir, West Himalayan fir, Himalayan silver fir, Pindrau (Hindi)



Tree to 60 m tall, with trunk to 2.5(-3) m in diameter. Bark silvery gray, darkening and becoming strongly ridged and furrowed with age. Branchlets hairless, shallowly grooved between the leaf bases. Buds 3-4(-8) mm long, covered with white resin. Needles arranged mostly to the sides of the twigs in several rows of different lengths, (2-)2.5-6(-9) cm long, shiny bright green above, the tips sharply forked to just notched. Individual needles flat in cross section and with a resin canal on either side near the edge a little separated from the lower epidermis, usually without stomates above and with six to eight lines of stomates in each dull light gray stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 10-15 mm long, brown. Seed cones cylindrical, 10-14(-18) cm long, (4-)5-6.5(-7.5) cm across, dark violet when young, maturing dark reddish brown. Bracts up to half as long as the seed scales and hidden by them. Persistent cone axis narrowly conical. Seed body 10-12 mm long, the wing about 1.5 times as long. Cotyledons four to six. Pindrow fir (from common name pindrau in the Simla Hills) has an extensive distribution at moderate elevations in the western Himalaya and is heavily exploited for timber.

Pindrow fir (from common name pindrau in the Simla Hills) has an extensive distribution at moderate elevations in the western Himalaya and is heavily exploited for timber.

Himalaya, from northeastern Afghanistan to Nepal and adjacent China in Xizang (Tibet). Forming pure stands or mixed with other conifers and hardwoods on cool, moist, snowy sites in the mountains; (300-)2,100-2,700(3,700) m. The climate is cool, moist monsoon, with abundant precipitation, but less than in the eastern Himalayas, much of it falling as snow.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

Abies pindrow is assessed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution. The typical variety is also assessed as Least Concern, while var. brevifolia is  assessed as Data Deficient due to insufficient information about its taxonomic status and distribution (the varieties do not have separate assessments). It occurs in pure stands or in association with Picea smithiana, Pinus wallichiana, Tsuga dumosa and Cedrus deodara; at lower elevations broad-leaved trees, e.g. Quercus semecarpifolia, Quercus dilatata, Juglans regia, Aesculus indica, Acer spp., Prunus spp., and Ulmus spp. become more important, replacing the conifers below 1,600 m. Pindrow fir is an important timber tree in the Himalayas, where its timber is used in construction (house building), in particular for interior work such as floor boards, ceilings, and stairs. In some parts shingles are used for roofing. Another application of its wood is for fruit cases and tea boxes. This species remains uncommon in cultivation in Europe and is regularly misidentified, with trees named Abies pindrow var. intermedia turning out to belong to Abies spectabilis (Rushforth 1987). It requires a mildly cool and wet climate, such as prevails in the western parts of the British Isles. Parts of the range of this species fall within protected areas, but most of it is outside reserves.



  • 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 CodeABII2MJA87
Weight1.5 kg
Height15 - 20 cm

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