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Abies spectabilis - (D.Don.)Spach.                
                 
Common Name Himalayan Fir
Family Pinaceae
Synonyms A. webbiana.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forests in Nepal between 2700 - 3900 metres[243]. Moist open areas[272].
Range E. Asia - Himalayas from Afghanistan to Nepal.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of cone
Abies spectabilis is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft 5in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Abies spectabilis Himalayan Fir


Abies spectabilis Himalayan Fir
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiperiodic;  Astringent;  Carminative;  Expectorant;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The leaves are astringent, carminative, expectorant, stomachic and tonic[240]. The leaf juice used in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis etc[240, 243, 272]. An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used to treat colds, rheumatism and nasal congestion[272]. The leaf juice is antiperiodic[240, 243].
Other Uses
Essential;  Fuel;  Incense;  Wood.

An essential oil is obtained from the plant, though the report does not give yields or uses[240]. The dried leaves, mixed with other ingredients, are used in making incense[272]. The wood is used for construction and thatching roofs[272]. It is also used for fuel[272].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant, especially when young, but growth is slower in dense shade[81]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[1]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about 5[200]. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope[200]. This species is unsatisfactory in south-eastern Britain due to damage by late frosts, trees rarely live more than 40 years and have a poor thin crown[185]. Trees grow far better in the milder and moister western side of the country[11]. Young trees are very slow to establish because they are often damaged by late frosts, it is best to grow the young trees in high shade to get them through this time[1, 185]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March[78]. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks[78]. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[80, 113]. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre[78] whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position[80].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(D.Don.)Spach.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
11200266
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[81]Rushforth. K. Conifers.
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[185]Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles.
A bit out of date (first published in 1972), but an excellent guide to how well the various species of conifers grow in Britain giving locations of trees.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[243] Medicinal Plants of Nepal
Terse details of the medicinal properties of Nepalese plants, including cultivated species and a few imported herbs.
[272]Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Abies spectabilis  
             

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