Shensi fir

(Abies chensiensis)



Abies chensiensis, the Shensi fir, is a fir native to Gansu, Hubei, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan in China, and Arunachal Pradesh in India. It was first described by Philippe Édouard Léon Van Tieghem in 1892. The Shensi fir is a straight-stemmed, evergreen tree, which can reach heights of up to 50 m (160 ft) and can have a diameter at breast height of up to 250 cm (98 in). The natural distribution of the Shensi fir is roughly bounded to the north by the Chinese provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu, and to the south by the Yunnan province. It most commonly grows in heights of 2300 to 3000 metres in regions with an annual precipitation between 1000 and 2000 mm. The soft, light timber of the Shensi fir is finely grained, and is predominantly used as a construction material. Firs (Abies) are a genus of 48–56 species of evergreen coniferous trees in the family Pinaceae. They are found on mountains throughout much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The genus is most closely related to Cedrus (cedar). The genus name is derived from the Latin "to rise" in reference to the height of its species. The common English name originates with the Old Norse, fyri, or the Old Danish, fyr. They are large trees, reaching heights of 10–80 metres (33–262 feet) tall with trunk diameters of 0.5-4 m (1 ft 8 in – 13 ft 1 in) when mature. Firs can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by the way in which their needle-like leaves are attached singly to the branches with a base resembling a suction cup, and by their cones, which, like those of true cedars, stand upright on the branches like candles and disintegrate at maturity. Identification of the different species is based on the size and arrangement of the leaves, the size and shape of the cones, and whether the bract scales of the cones are long and exserted, or short and hidden inside the cone. Firs can be distinguished from other members of the pine family by the unique attachment of their needle-like leaves to the twig by a base that resembles a small suction cup. The leaves are significantly flattened, sometimes even looking like they are pressed, as in A. sibirica.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Pinopsida
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