The Gymnosperm Database


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Conservation status

Abies veitchii

Lindley 1861

Common names

Veitch's silver fir (Vidakovic 1991), Shikoku fir.

Taxonomic notes

Synonymy (Farjon 1998):


"A tree up to 25 m high. Crown conical, often branched to the ground. Bark smooth and gray. Branches short, horizontal, with ringed folds near the base. Shoots reddish-brown with quite thick rust coloured down. Buds small, ovate-globose, very resinous. Needles densely arranged, directed forwards and partially upwards, those on the lower side of the shoot partly pectinate, 1-2.5 cm long, apex truncate and bifid, those on the upper side dark green, glossy and grooved, with 2 chalk-white stomata bands beneath (Fig. 32), resin ducts medial or occasionally sub-marginal. Flowers appear in May. Cones cylindrical, 4.5-6.5 cm long and up to 3 cm wide, bluish-violet when young, later brown, ripening in September and October; seed scales very densely arranged, 15 mm wide; bract scales slightly exserted and reflexed. Seed 7 mm long, yellow, wing blackish; 1000 seeds weigh ca 30-40 g. Cotyledons 3-5" (Vidakovic 1991).

Var. nikkoensis Mayr. has smaller cones than the type (up to 5 cm), and the bract scales are almost concealed by the seed scales. Var. olivacea Shiras. has cones about 7 cm long, olive green when young, later gray-brown. It grows with the typical form in Japan (Vidakovic 1991).

Distribution and Ecology

Japan: Honshu, 1600-1900 m (Vidakovic 1991). Hardy to Zone 3 (cold hardiness limit between -39.9°C and -34.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree






"I have named it after Mr. J.G. Veitch, whose great merit as a very energetic explorer of the vegetation of Japan it gracefully records" (Lindley 1861).


Lindley. 1861. Gardeners' Chronicle 23.

See also

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.
- Provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Farjon (2010).

Iwatsuki et al. (1995).

Last Modified 2017-12-29