Nikko fir Pinaceae Abies
homolepis Siebold & Zucc. symbol: ABHO
Leaf: Flattened needles, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, glossy green above with 2 white bands below; apex rounded or notched; spirally arranged but flattened into 2 ranks especially lower in the crown.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male cones yellowish and borne beneath the leaves; female cones initially yellowish-green to green and borne upright near the top of the crown.
Fruit: Cones are up to 4 inches long, barrel-shaped, and borne upright on the twig; cone scales are deciduous, falling from the cone as seeds ripen; purplish green when mature; distributed throughout the crown, not just at the top.
Twig: Stiff, yellow to gray-brown, and covered with round, flat leaf scars when needles fall and grooved between needles. Buds are rounded and covered with pitch; terminal buds usually occur in clusters of three.
Bark: When young grayish yellow and covered with resin blisters; with age becoming grayish brown and mottled.
Form: A large spreading evergreen, growing to 120 feet tall (more commonly 50 feet in the U.S.) and 3 to 4 feet in diameter.
Additional Range Information: Abies homolepis is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)