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Abies veitchii

Abies veitchii
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Product Information

Scientific name: Abies veitchii  Lindley  1861

Synonyms: Abies eichleri Lauche, Abies veitchii var. veitchii, Picea veitchii (Lindl.) Gordon, Pinus selenolepis Parl., Pinus veitchii (Lindl.) W.R.McNab

Infraspecific taxa: Abies veitchii var. sikokiana (Nakai) Kusaka 1954

Common names: Veitch fir, Veitch's silver fir, Shikoku fir (English), Shirabiso (Japanese)



Tree to 25(-30) m tall or dwarfed at the alpine timberline, with trunk to 0.8(-1) m in diameter. Bark grayish white, usually remaining so with age. Branchlets densely covered with short brown hairs that are soon lost, not or shallowly grooved between the leaf bases. Buds 3-4.5 mm long, moderately to heavily resinous. Needles arranged to the sides and above the twigs, angled gently forward, (0.5-)1-2.5 cm long, shiny dark green above, the tips flat or slightly notched. Individual needles flat to a little plump in cross section and with a resin canal on either side toward the outer edge nearer the lower epidermis than the upper but not touching it, without or with a few scattered stomates in the groove above near the tip and with 13-15 lines of stomates in each white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 8-15 mm long, purplish brown. Seed cones cylindrical, (3-)4-6(-8) cm long, (1.5-)2-2.5 cm across, blackish purple (rarely green) when young, maturing dark purplish brown.  Bracts a little shorter than or about as long as the externally hairy seed scales and usually cone axis narrowly cylindrical. Seed body 4.5-6 mm long, the wing half as long or a little less. Cotyledons four or five.

It is generally agreed that James Gould Veitch (1839-1970) was a British horticulturist and traveller, ‘discovered’ it on Mt Fuji in 1860.

Central Honshu, Kii Peninsula, and central Shikoku (Japan). Forming pure stands or mixed with other conifers in the subalpine forest; (800-)1,200-1,900(-2,800) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

Despite the Veitch’s Fir (Abies veitchii) being restricted to high elevations, its distribution and regeneration appear to guarantee the survival of this species. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.



  • 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 CodeABI5OTA012
Weight1.5 kg

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