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; 5⁄8 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄12 to 1⁄8 in. wide, very stiff, tapered somewhat towards both ends, the apex distinctly notched, leaving two sharp, slender points. Cones 31⁄2 to 5 in. long, 11⁄2 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 × 81⁄2 ft (1959); Westonbirt, Glos., in Silkwood, 78 × 9 ft (1963); Nymans, Sussex, 77 × 71⁄4 ft (1957); Borde Hill, Sussex, pl. 1890, 77 × 61⁄2 and 76 × 63⁄4 ft (1961); Stourhead, Wilts, pl. 1911 (?), 72 × 71⁄2 ft (1965).