The Gymnosperm Database


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Conservation status

Abies forrestii var. ferreana

Farjon et Silba 1990

Common names

中甸冷杉 zhong dian leng shan [Chinese] (Fu et al. 1999).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: A. ferreana Bordères et Gaussen 1947; A. chayuensis W.C. Cheng & L.K. Fu 1975; A. forrestii Coltm.-Rog. var. chayuensis (W.C. Cheng & L.K. Fu) Silba 1990; A. ferreana Bordères & Gaussen var. longibracteata L.K. Fu & Nan Li 1997 (Farjon 2010). There are other interpretations. The Flora of China (Fu et al. 1999) recognizes A. ferreana as a good species with two varieties, the type and longibracteata Fu and Li 1997, and additionally segregates A. chayuensis as a distinct species. The taxa in question have extremely similar morphology, habitat and distribution; they are distinguished chiefly on the basis of minor details of cone bract morphology. There seems to be a difference of opinion on whether these differences are consistent (in which case they can be recognized as valid discrete taxa), or not (in which case they are appropriately reduced to synonymy within a more encompassing, phenotypically diverse taxon).


Similar to A. forrestii type variety, except Farjon (1990) finds that it has "(strongly) pubescent shoots, medial resin canals and smaller cones," while Fu et al. (1999) note that the twigs of this variety are reddish brown or dark brown in their first year, densely rusty brown pubescent, with the cone bract apex acuminate or cuspidate, usually exserted and reflexed.

As mentioned above, Fu et al. (1999) recognize two varieties within this taxon, as well as regarding A. chayuensis as a good species. For var. ferreana, they state that the cone bract apex is rounded, with an acute cusp, usually reflexed or recurved; for var. longibracteata, that the cone bract apex is acuminate, obviously exserted, neither reflexed nor recurved; and that for A. chayuensis the cone bract apex is broadly rounded, caudate centrally, with a cusp ca. 5 mm long; it also has branchlets that are pubescent and light yellowish gray, yellowish brown, or grayish brown in their first year.

Distribution and Ecology

Farjon (2010) places it in China: NW Yunnan, and in SE Tibet. Fu et al. (1999) place A. chayuensis in SE Xizang on S-facing slopes at about 3800 m elevation; A. ferreana var. ferreana in SW Sichuan and NW Yunnan at 3300-3800 m; and A. ferreana var. longibracteata in NW Yunnan (Zhongdian Xian), the type specimen collected at 3950 m elevation.

Big tree







Farjon, Aljos. 1990. Pinaceae: drawings and descriptions of the genera Abies, Cedrus, Pseudolarix, Keteleeria, Nothotsuga, Tsuga, Cathaya, Pseudotsuga, Larix and Picea. Königstein: Koeltz Scientific Books.

Silba, John. 1990. A supplement to the International Census of the Coniferae II. Phytologia 68:7-78 (p.17). Available:, accessed 2016.11.27.

See also

Li Nan and Fu Li-kuo. 1997. Notes on gymnosperms I. Taxonomic treatments of some Chinese conifers. Novon 7: 261-264.

Last Modified 2017-12-29