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Abies durangensis var. coahuilensis

Abies durangensis var. coahuilensis - Coahuila fir
  • Abies durangensis var. coahuilensis - Coahuila fir - Click to enlarge
  • Abies durangensis var. coahuilensis leaves - Click to enlarge


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Product Information


Scientific name: Abies durangensis var. coahuilensis (I.M.Johnston) Martínez  1963

Synonyms: Abies coahuilensis  I.M.Johnston

Common names: Coahuila fir



Tree to (15-)30 m tall, with trunk to 1 m in diameter. Bark gray, darkening, reddening, and becoming deeply furrowed with age. Branchlets hairless or with short hairs in the deep grooves between the leaf bases. Buds 4-5 mm long, resin-coated. Needles arranged to the sides of and angled forward above the twigs, 1.5-2.5 cm long, shiny light green above, the tip rounded or bluntly pointed. Individual needles flat or a little plump in cross section and with a resin canal on either side touching the lower epidermis near the edge, without stomates above or with (one to) three to five incomplete lines of stomates in the groove near the tip and with 4-10 lines in each white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 10-20 mm long, purplish red. Seed cones cylindrical, 5-9(-11) cm long, 3-4(-4.5) cm across, green when young, maturing yellowish brown. Bracts from half as long as the hairy seed scales and hidden by them to about as long and peeking up between them. Persistent cone axis narrowly cylindrical. Seed body 6-8(-10) mm long, the wing 1.5-2 times as long.

Has been found in two disjunct populations in the Sierra Madre Oriental, in Coahuila and Nuevo León: the Sierra de la Madera and to the SE of this location in mountains near General Cepeda and in the Sierra de Arteaga and Sierra de La Marta. Here the altitude range is 2,100-3,550 m, higher than in the western range of this species; at its lower sites it is confined to shady canyons and only on the highest ridges and summits can it exist on more open slopes, forming dense forests usually mixed with other conifers.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable

Abies durangensis var. coahuilensis is known from two locations: in the Sierra de la Madera it occurs in canyon systems and on a summit, and in SE Coahuila it is known from a few mountain summit areas. Its total area of occupancy (AOO) is probably less than 30 km² and forest wildfires could seriously deplete these stands and result in a Critically Endangered listing. As a result it is assessed as Vulnerable.

The two subpopulations known in the state of Coahuila occur a considerable distance apart and in each the actual stands are again isolated and small, but no numbers of mature trees can be estimated.

This variety has been found in steep canyons at 2,100 m to 2,300 m a.s.l. and on mountain summits above 3,500 m, in dense forest with Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca, Pinus strobiformis and Cupressus arizonica.

The most serious threat is probably forest wildfires, which would be very difficult to control or extinguish in the difficult terrain where this variety grows. In Coahuila, fires destroyed over 70,000 ha of forest in 2011. Following serious fires, some of the conifers with which this fir is associated are likely to be more successful and eventually replace the firs.

No trade is known of this taxon; its timber may be used on a limited scale locally, but most trees are quite inaccessible.

No specific conservation actions have been recorded for this species and it is not known from any protected area.


Cultivars: -



  • Farjon, A. , Filer D. (2013). An Atlas of the World's Conifers: An Analysis of their Distribution, Biogeography, Diversity and Conservation Status. 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 CodeABINRLRA60
Weight1.5 kg
Height20 - 25 cm

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