Abies fabri (Mast.) Craib

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'Abies fabri' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/abies/abies-fabri/). Accessed 2021-05-11.



  • Keteleeria fabri Mast.


Term used here primarily to indicate the seed-bearing (female) structure of a conifer (‘conifer’ = ‘cone-producer’); otherwise known as a strobilus. A number of flowering plants produce cone-like seed-bearing structures including Betulaceae and Casuarinaceae.
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
(syn.) (botanical) An alternative or former name for a taxon usually considered to be invalid (often given in brackets). Synonyms arise when a taxon has been described more than once (the prior name usually being the one accepted as correct) or if an article of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature has been contravened requiring the publishing of a new name. Developments in taxonomic thought may be reflected in an increasing list of synonyms as generic or specific concepts change over time.
(pl. taxa) Group of organisms sharing the same taxonomic rank (family genus species infraspecific variety).
(var.) Taxonomic rank (varietas) grouping variants of a species with relatively minor differentiation in a few characters but occurring as recognisable populations. Often loosely used for rare minor variants more usefully ranked as forms.


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New article for Trees and Shrubs Online.

Recommended citation
'Abies fabri' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/abies/abies-fabri/). Accessed 2021-05-11.


Bean discusses this taxon as A. delavayi var. fabri (Mast.) D.R. Hunt. It has long been accepted as a species and will be treated as such when the revised TSO account for Abies is published in 2021. The text that follows is Bean’s. TC 23/07/20.

An evergreen tree up to 130 ft high in a wild state, with a trunk 8 to 16 ft in girth; young shoots minutely downy at first, yellowish to dark brown. Terminal winter buds {2/5} in. long, slightly resinous. Leaves dark green above, with two whitish bands of stomata in nine to eleven rows beneath; {1/2} to 1 in. long, {1/12} in. wide in adult trees; 1{3/4} in. long in juvenile ones; rounded and occasionally very slightly notched at the end; margins distinctly recurved; the outer leaves are horizontal, the inner ones more or less erect. Male inflorescence 1{1/4} in. long by {1/4} in. wide. Cone cylindrical, rounded at the top, about 3 in. long, 1{1/4} to 1{3/4} in. wide, dark blue or bluish black, the awl-shaped tips of the bracts protruding about {1/4} in. and much decurved. Bot. Mag., t. 9201.Native of China in the western part of the province of Szechwan; discovered by the missionary Faber and introduced by Wilson from the Omei Shan and Wa Shan in 1903 and again in 1910. Wilson’s firs were at first considered to be typical A. delavayi and distributed under that name. This view was first disputed by Craib (Notes Edin. Bot. Gard., Vol. 11, 1918, pp. 278-9). From an examination of the original material and specimens collected by Forrest in the type locality and other parts of Yunnan he came to the conclusion that the trees found by Wilson were specifically distinct from A. delavayi. His judgement was based on certain differences in the leaves, notably the stronger recurving of the margins of the Yunnan specimens of A. delavayi. He therefore placed Wilson’s fir in A. fabri, a species which he constructed partly from Wilson’s material and partly from a specimen collected earlier in the same part of Szechwan and originally described as Keteleeria fabri by Masters. Other authorities considered that these characters are inconstant and unreliable, and treated A. fabri as a synonym of A. delavayi. The view adopted in the present revision is that, while A. fabri can scarcely be upheld as a species, it should, in the present state of our knowledge, be maintained as a distinct entity, with the rank of variety. A note on this matter has been published (D. R. Hunt, Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 92, 1967, p. 263).The following specimens have been recorded: Stourhead, Wilts., 68 × 3 ft (1961); East Bergholt Place, Suffolk, 58 × 3{1/2} ft (1966); Abbotswood, Glos., pl. 1916, 47 × 2{3/4} and 43 × 3{3/4} ft (1966); Dawyck, Peebl., pl. 1918, 51 × 3{1/2} ft (1961); Edinburgh Botanic Garden, from W. 4078, 44 × 4{3/4} ft (1968).