Abies veitchii Lindl.

Modern name

Abies veitchii Lindl.

A tree 50 to 70 ft high; young shoots brown, furnished with a more or less scattered, minute down; buds globose, very resinous, purplish. Leaves 12 to 138 in. long, 116 in. wide, the base tapered, the apex cut off straight and notched; dark glossy green and grooved above, vividly white with stomatic lines beneath. All the leaves point forwards, and most of them curve more or less upwards; a few occur underneath the shoot, but most of them are above it or at the sides. On lateral shoots growing erect or nearly erect, the leaves are arranged about equally round the twig. Cones cylindrical, 2 to 212 in. long, about 1 in. wide; blue-purple at first.

Native of central and southern Japan; discovered by John Gould Veitch on Mt Fuji in 1860; introduced by Maries in 1879. Among silver firs this species is very distinct, on account of the narrow, truncate leaves, pointed forwards and curving upwards, and intensely blue-white beneath. The trunk is smooth even on old trees, and characteristically folded into wrinkles around the branch insertions. It is not a long-lived species; the tree at Murthly Castle, mentioned in previous editions (31 ft in 1906), had attained twice that height by 1931 but is now dead, as are many others planted at the end of the last century. The following are the best recorded: Westonbirt, Glos., pl. 1916, 76 × 334 ft (1966); Dawyck, Peebl., 70 × 514, 72 × 334 and 70 × 7 ft (1966); Benmore, Argyll, 69 × 412 ft (1956); Borde Hill, Sussex, pl. 1890, 69 × 434 ft (1957); Murthly Castle, Perths., 71 × 412 ft (1955).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Trees in England planted early this century are all dead or dying, but there are still healthy specimens in Scotland and Ireland: Dawyck, Peebl., 88 × 7[1/4] ft and 84 × 7[1/2] ft (1983); Hopetoun House, W. Lothian, 92 × 6[1/4] ft (1984); Benmore, Argyll, 88 × 5[3/4] ft (1983); Gosford Castle, E. Lothian, 82 × 8 ft (1976); Crarae, Argyll, 70 × 6 ft and 62 × 6[3/4] ft (1976); Dunkeld Cathedral, Perths., 75 × 7[3/4] ft and 85 × 5[1/2] ft (1981); Glentanar, Aberd., in Pinetum, pl. 1925, 79 × 7[1/4] ft (1980); Ardross Castle, Ross, pl. 1900, 68 × 7[1/4] ft (1980); Fairburn, Ross, 84 × 7[1/2] ft (1970).

† var. sikokiana (Nakai) Kusaka A. sikokiana Nakai – With a limited distribution in the south-western part of the main island of Japan, this variety differs from the typical state in having the leaves on the coning branchlets shorter, broadening towards the apex, smaller cones and differently shaped cone-scales (Liu, op. cit., p. 163 and pp. 180-81; Tor G. Nitzelius, Journ. R.H.S., Vol 100 (1975), pp. 202-5).



Other species in the genus