Sikkim Fir
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Sikkim Fir
E Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Sikkim Fir, East-Himalayan Silver Fir • Nepali: गोब्रे सल्ला Gobre Sallaa
Botanical name: Abies densa    Family: Pinaceae (Pine family)
Synonyms: Abies spectabilis var. densa, Abies fordei

Sikkim Fir is a trees up to 60 m tall, with bark scaly; branchlets initially grayish yellow or light brown, turning yellowish gray or grayish brown in 2nd or 3rd year, velvet-hairy; winter buds resinous. Leaves are radially spreading or ascending on upper side of branchlets, comb-like arranged in 2 lateral sets on lower side, linear, 2-4.5 cm x 2.5-3 mm, stomatal lines usually in 2 white bands below, resin canals 2, marginal, lower, margin curled, tip blunt or notched. Seed cones are nearly stalkless, black-purple at maturity, 9-10 x 4-4.5 cm. Seed scales at middle of cones almost fanshaped-trapeziform or kidney-shaped-trapeziform, thick, incurved, 1.5-1.9 x 1.8-2.2 cm. Bracts are wedge-shaped-obovate, 5/6 as long as, to equaling seed scales, tip shortly cuspidate, cusp protruding, pointed. Seeds with wing black-brown, wedge-shaped-oblong, and flat at tip. Sikkim Fir is is found in Eastern Himalayas, from Nepal to Bhutan, NE India, Sikkim and SE Tibet, at altitudes of 2800-3700 m.

Identification credit: Ishwari Datt Rai, Dharmendra Lamsal, Siddarth Machado Photographed in Tawang distt, Arunachal Pradesh & North Sikkim.

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