Abies beshanzuensis (Baishan Fir) is a species of conifer in the family Pinaceae. It is endemic to Baishanzu Shan in southern Zhejiang province in eastern China, where it grows at 1,850 m altitude and is threatened by collection and climate change. Abies beshanzuensis is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.
It was discovered in 1963 on the summit of Baishanzu Shan (1,857 m), where only seven trees were found. Three of these were dug up and moved to Beijing Botanical Garden, where they died. By 1987, only three trees were left in the wild, making it the rarest conifer in the world. New planting of grafted plants on Baishanzu Shan and other nearby sites has shown some success, but the species remains critically endangered.
It is a tree growing to 15–17 metres tall, with a broad conic crown and a trunk up to 0.8 metres diameter. The shoots are stout, pale yellow-brown, hairless or slightly hairy. The leaves are linear, 1.5–4 cm long and 2.5–3.5 mm wide, glossy green above, and with two white stomatal bands below. The cones are narrow cylindric-conic, bright green when immature, ripening pale yellow-brown, 6–12 cm long and 3–4 cm wide, with exserted and reflexed bracts.
It is closely related to Abies firma from southern Japan, placed with it as the only two members of Abies subsect. Firmae. The species Abies ziyuanensis is included in Abies beshanzuensis as a variety by some botanists, though others place this species in a different subsection of the genus, Abies subsect. Holophyllae.
- ^ a b c Rushforth, K. (1987). Conifers. Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X.
- ^ a b c d e Farjon, A. (1990). Pinaceae. Drawings and Descriptions of the Genera. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3-87429-298-3.
- ^ a b Flora of China: Abies fabri
- ^ IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <http://www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 11 March 2010.
- ^ Dudley, T. R. (1988). Chinese firs, particularly Abies beshanzuensis. American Conifer Society Bulletin 5: 84-93.