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Abies fargesii

Abies fargesii
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Product Information

Scientific name: Abies fargesii   Franchet  1899

Synonyms: -

Common names: Farges' fir, Bashan Lengshan (Chinese)



Tree to 40 m tall, with trunk to 2 m in diameter. Bark gray, flaking, darkening, browning and finally breaking into deep ridges and furrows with age. Branchlets hairless to shaggy with reddish hairs, especially in the grooves between the leaf bases. Buds 3-6(-8) mm long, variably resinous. Needles arranged to  the sides of the twigs in several rows, the upper rows shorter and bent up above the twigs on branches bearing seed cones, 1-2.5(-4.5) cm long, shiny bright green to dark green above, the tips usually notched, but sometimes blunt or pointed. Individual needles flat in cross section and with a modest to large resin canal on either side (usually) away from the lower epidermis and also well in from the leaf margins, the margins sometimes slightly rolled under, sometimes with a few short lines of stomates in the groove above near the tip and with 8-12 lines of stomates in each greenish white to silvery stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 10-15 mm long, red. Seed cones elongate egg-shaped to cylindrical, (3-)5-9(-10) cm long, 3-4.5 cm across, violet when young, maturing purplish or reddish brown. Bracts about as long as the fuzzy seed scales or sometimes a little shorter, the narrow tip usually a little longer and peeking up between the scales to bending down a little ower them, or sometimes hidden. Persistent cone axis swollen in the middle. Seed body 5-8 mm long the wing about as long. Cotyledons four to six.

Central China, from southern Gansu to western Henan, south to northern Guizhou and northwestern Yunnan. Forming pure stands or mixed with other conifers and hardwoods on mountain slopes in the subalpine zone and below; (1,500-)2,100-3,700(-4,000) m. The climate is cold and moist.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

Due to the wide distribution and relatively large population size of the typical variety, the species as a whole is also assessed as Least Concern. In general subpopulations are fragmented but may have sizeable numbers with a relatively large area of occupancy. The overall population is thought to be decreasing due to recent declines from logging and the ongoing effects of acid rain in some parts of its range. At its lowest elevation broad-leaved trees (e.g. Fagus engleriana, Davidia involucrata) are important, but A. fargesii mostly forms either pure forests or mixed coniferous forests with among other species Picea purpurea, Picea asperata, Picea neoveitchii, Picea brachytyla, Larix potaninii, Abies chensiensis, Abies recurvata, Tsuga chinensis and Taxus chinensis. Some broad-leaved trees are usually present: Betula spp., Populus spp., and many shrubs: Cotoneaster, Ribes, Spiraea, Rhododendron and Berberis are among the common genera (except in dense Picea-Abies forest). Being the most widespread of firs in the high mountains of western China, this species has been subject to extensive exploitation for its timber. The wood, if of high grade, is used in construction (mainly indoor flooring, framing and joinery), otherwise it is applied in the paper pulp industry. Most botanical collectors active in western China in the first decades of the twentieth century encountered it or its varieties and the species has been introduced to Europe and the USA from these collections. Most trees still in cultivation date from these introductions and are generally confined to botanical gardens and arboreta.



  • 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 CodeABIFJFUT52
Weight1.5 kg
Height15 - 20 cm

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