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 1⁄2 to 13⁄8 in. long, 1⁄16 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 21⁄2 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 × 33⁄4 ft (1966); Dawyck, Peebl., 70 × 51⁄4, 72 × 33⁄4 and 70 × 7 ft (1966); Benmore, Argyll, 69 × 41⁄2 ft (1956); Borde Hill, Sussex, pl. 1890, 69 × 43⁄4 ft (1957); Murthly Castle, Perths., 71 × 41⁄2 ft (1955).