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ABIES firma

Image of Abies firma

James Burghardt

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

ABIES firma

Plant Common Name

Japanese Fir, Momi Fir

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The wood of the momi fir is light colored and traditionally used to make coffins in its native Japan. A tall-growing evergreen, momi fir grows in Japan's highlands intermixed with other conifers. This tree grows slowly in its youth, retaining a dense, upright pyramid shape. When mature, the straight trunk becomes massive and the scattered horizontal branches look somewhat like the silhouette of an old white pine.

The emerald green needles are flattened and are alternating on the twigs in two planes. Young trees' needles are sharply tipped. Needle undersides are markedly white and the needle tips have a minute V-shape. The bark is dotted with resin, but as branches or the trunk ages, it becomes gray with lots of cork. Female cones are pendent cylinders, initially green but maturing yellowish brown.

Grow momi fir in full to partial sun. Best performance occurs in moist, organic-rich, acidic soils with good drainage. In dry or higher pH conditions the needles become more yellow-green. In the winter sun the normally lush green needles may also temporarily scald to yellow. Use this fir as a specimen tree in a spacious landscape. It demonstrates good tolerance to long, hot summers, including those with high humidity. Momi fir's growth rate increases after several years in the ground.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    50'-90' / 15.2m - 27.4m

  • Width

    10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Gold, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green, Yellow Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Corky

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No