West Himalayan fir (Vidakovic 1991).
"A tree attaining a height of 60 m and a diameter of 2.4 m. Branches short. Crown narrow and conical. Bark on young trees smooth and gray, on old trees thick, gray-brown and furrowed. Shoots globose, yellow-gray and glabrous. Buds globose, large, resinous. Needles on the upper side of the shoot radially arranged, on the lower side pectinate, 3-6 cm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, bifid (only acute when young), dark green, glossy, with 2 gray stomata bands on the lower surface. Cones cylindrical, 10-18 cm long, 6-7 cm thick, deep purple when young, later brown; seed scales about 3 cm wide; bract scales concealed. Seed 1-1.2 cm long; wing twice the length of the seed.
"var. brevifolia Dallim. et Jacks. ( = A. gamblei Hickel) has red-brown shoots; needles 2.5-3.5 cm long, tougher than the type, with acute apex.
"var. intermedia Henry is an intermediate form between A. spectabilis and A. pindrow, apparently produced by hybridization in places where their ranges overlap. Bark, shoots and buds are similar to that of A. pindrow, but the needles are pectinate, up to 5.5 cm long, lower surface convex" (Vidakovic 1991).
Himal: Throughout the western Himalaya from Afghanistan to Nepal, at elevations between 2000 and 3000 m. Often associated with Picea smithiana and less frequently with Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichiana (Vidakovic 1991). Hardy to Zone 8 (cold hardiness limit between -12.1°C and -6.7°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).
Vladimir Dinets (e-mail 2004.11.14) reports trees in Ayubia National Park, Pakistan, growing up to 60 m tall.
Vladimir Dinets (2004), traveling in Pakistan, recounts: "I left the most pleasant part of the trip until the end. There is a town called Muree in the mountains above Islamabad. It used to be a British hill station. and is still surrounded by forest. A narrow, densely forested ridge with a few villages goes north for almost fifty kilometers. It is by far the largest forest in the country, now protected as Ayubia National Park. The British have built a network of hiking trails between villages. They are broad, level, and often equipped with handrails. The forest is mostly old growth Indian white pine [Pinus wallichiana], but on northern slopes there are groves of very tall, slender West Himalayan firs [Abies pindrow], with some huge Sumatran yews [Taxus sumatrana] and deodars [Cedrus deodara]."
Dinets, Vladimir. 2004. Ramadan in Pakistan. http://dinets.travel.ru/eibex.htm, accessed 2004.11.28.
Royle, J.F. 1836. Illustrations of the Botany and other Branches of the Natural History of the Himalayan Mountains, and of the Flora of Cashmere 1: t. 86.
Last Modified 2012-11-23