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Woody > Abies > Abies fargesii > Abies fargesii

Abies fargesii

Farge's Fir

Origin:  China.
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A evergreen tree native to China and may be considered an invasive species since it dominates nearly 50% of some forests. It is similar to most other trees in its genus but this particular species has especially interesting cones that are dark purple. It thrives in rich, well-drained soils and full sun exposure.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
7 - 9
Canadian Hardiness Zone
6b - Requires cool season protection under glass.
RHS Hardiness Zone
H3 - H6
Temperature (°C)
-18 - (-1)
Temperature (°F)
0 - 30
15 m
4 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A large, evergreen tree with thin, flat needle-like foliage, dark green on top, with a bluish-white pigment on the underside. Branches come out from the trees at a 90° angle, the bark is rigid and scaly in mature specimens and the female cones are a deep purple colour.
With its columnar form, it may be considered ideal for placement along buildings.
Requires full sun and thrives in moist, alkaline, rich, well-drained soils.
Very tall, columnar to fastigiate in form.
ID Characteristic
Female cones are deep purple to almost navy blue colour.
No significant pests or diseases.
Mountainsides, native to China.
Bark/Stem Description
Bark is light grey in colour, fine and flakey when young becoming brown, course and rigid as it matures.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Buds are broad, oval-shaped and can be quite rigid. Purplish-red in colour and are quite resinous, 6-8 mm long and 4-5 mm wide. The bud scales are triangular, yellow to almost brown in colour and often persist for several years.
Leaf Description
Leaves are opposite in arrangement, very flat, thin and relatively soft to touch. They are 2-2.5 mm wide and can vary dramatically in length usually between 10-35 mm long. A deep green colour on top and a blue on the underside.
Flower Description
Flowers are small and insignificant.
Fruit Description
Male cones are tubular, 13 mm long and roughly 5 mm wide. The more recognizable and dominate cones are female. The female cones are about 50 mm long and 30-40 mm wide, very broad and obtuse in shape. When young they are a very deep shade of purple with hues of blue, and mature to a more purple-red tone. The black coloured seeds are elongated, 3-3.5 mm wide and up to 15 mm long.
Colour Description
Foliage is a very dark shade of green, female cones are an eye-catching shade of deep purple.
Texture Description
Notable Specimens
University of British Columbia Botanical Garden, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Propagate from seed which should be sown in the late stages of spring. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours, followed by a cold stratification period of least 30 days. At 5°C sow the seeds thinly and plant .5 cm deep in the soil. Young Abies are especially sensitive to light, so proper shade is absolutely necessary for the first 3-5 years.
Warren, Richard, and Ethan W. Johnson. "A Guide to the Firs (Abies Spp.) of the Arnold Arboretum." (n.d.): n. pag. Web Bigrass, Francine J., and Stephen J. Colombo. Conifer Cold Hardiness. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic, 2001. Print.