Faber's fir

(Abies fabri)



Abies fabri (Faber's fir) is a conifer species in the family Pinaceae. It is endemic to Sichuan in western China, occurring on the sacred mountain of Emei Shan (from where it was first described) and westward to the Gongga Shan massif, growing at altitudes of 1,500–4,000 metres (4,900–13,100 ft). It is a tree growing to 40 metres (130 ft) tall, with a trunk up to a metre in diameter, and a conical to broad columnar crown. The shoots are yellowish-brown, hairless or slightly hairy. The leaves are linear, 1.5–3 centimetres (0.59–1.18 in) long and 2–2.5 millimetres (0.079–0.098 in) wide, glossy dark green above, and with two white stomatal bands below; the leaf margins are slightly revolute. The cones are cylindrical, dark purple when immature, ripening purple-blue, 5–11 centimetres (2.0–4.3 in) long and 3–4.5 centimetres (1.2–1.8 in) wide, with slightly exserted bracts.The most serious threat to Abies fabri seems to be acid rain from nearby industries in Chengdu. There are two subspecies: Abies fabri subsp. fabri. Central and western Sichuan, in areas with heavy summer monsoon rainfall. Abies fabri subsp. minensis. Northwestern Sichuan, with a slightly drier climate. Abies fabri is closely related to Abies delavayi and Abies forrestii, which replace it to the south and southwest respectively in southern Sichuan and Yunnan, and to Abies fargesii, which replaces it further north in Gansu. Firs (Abies) are a genus of 48–56 species of evergreen coniferous trees in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range. Firs are most closely related to the genus Cedrus (cedar). Douglas firs are not true firs, being of the genus Pseudotsuga. The genus name is derived from the Latin "to rise" as a reference to their height. The common English name originates with the Old Norse, fyri, or the Old Danish, fyr. They are large trees, reaching heights of 10–80 m (33–262 ft) 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 (Cedrus), stand upright on the branches like candles and disintegrate at maturity.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Pinopsida
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