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ABIES homolepis

Image of Abies homolepis

Mark A. Miller

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

ABIES homolepis

Plant Common Name

Nikko Fir

Special Notice

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

General Description

Densely foliaged branches with glossy dark green needles makes the Nikko fir one of the most stately of fir species, although quite difficult to locate in nurseries. A tall evergreen conifer (cone-bearing) tree from Japan, it attains a spire-like shape but also becomes more pyramidal with age.

The glossy dark green needles have two white bands on their undersides. Densely lining all branches, the needles are held both horizontally and vertically, although the latter are shed earlier. New twig growth on the branches is yellowed. In spring both male and female cones appear, and only the female become light brown decorative cones after pollen from male cones reaches them in the wind.

Grow Nikko fir in a moist loam soil with good drainage in full to partial sun. Acidic soils are favored, although there is tolerance to neutral soils if ample organic matter is present. Also tolerant of winds, in the coldest part of its hardiness range it is increasinly important to shelter it from strong cold winter winds that will dry out the needles. Nikko fir is a terrific specimen tree for a spacious lawn at a campus, estate or park setting.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    30'-50' / 9.1m - 15.2m

  • Width

    16'-22' / 4.9m - 6.7m

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No