Abies firma Sieb. & Zucc.

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles


Common Names

  • Japanese Fir


(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Folded backwards.


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

A tree 120 to 150 ft high in nature; young shoots downy in the grooves between the bases of the leaves; buds small, very slightly or not resinous. Leaves aggregated into two opposite sets, spreading at about right angles to the shoot and leaving a broad, V-shaped opening along the upper side; they are deep glossy green above, with two not very conspicuous bands of stomata beneath; 58 to 112 in. long, 112 to 18 in. wide, very stiff, tapered somewhat towards both ends, the apex distinctly notched, leaving two sharp, slender points. Cones 312 to 5 in. long, 112 to 2 in. wide, brown; bracts exposed and not reflexed.

Native of Japan; introduced to England by John Gould Veitch in 1861. Sargent describes wild trees as the most beautiful of Japanese firs. The leaves are not invariably notched at the apex, and the notch is deepest in young plants. The tree at Pencarrow, Cornwall, referred to in previous editions as measuring 59 ft in 1908, was still a fine tree when seen in 1957; it then measured 88 × 10 ft. Others of good size are: Bicton, Devon, 94 × 812 ft (1959); Westonbirt, Glos., in Silkwood, 78 × 9 ft (1963); Nymans, Sussex, 77 × 714 ft (1957); Borde Hill, Sussex, pl. 1890, 77 × 612 and 76 × 634 ft (1961); Stourhead, Wilts, pl. 1911 (?), 72 × 712 ft (1965).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Nymans, Sussex, 85 × 8 ft (1977); Borde Hill, Sussex, pl. c. 1890, 97 × 712 ft (1981); Westonbirt, Glos., in Silkwood, 88 × 912 ft (1976); Stourhead, Wilts., pl. 1906, 95 × 10 ft (1984); Balfour Manor, Devon, 102 × 1134 ft (1979); Tregrehan, Cornwall, 95 × 1012 ft and 105 × 912 ft (1979); Fenagh House, Co. Carlow, Eire, pl. 1918, 66 × 834 ft (1975).


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