Delavay Fir
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Delavay Fir
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Delavay Fir
Botanical name: Abies delavayi    Family: Pinaceae (Pine family)

Delavay's Fir is a tree native to SW China, Arunachal Pradesh and northern Myanmar, and Vietnam. It is a high altitude mountain tree, growing at elevations of 3000-4000 m. It is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree growing to 7-40 m tall. The shoots are purple-brown to dark red-brown, smooth or finely velvety. The leaves are needle-like, 1.5-3 cm long and 1-2 mm broad, with a distinctive rolled-back margin. The upper surface of the leaves is glossy dark green with no stomata, the underside vivid snow-white with the stomata densely covered in white wax. This is thought to be an adaptation to exclude very heavy rain in its monsoon climate. The cones are dark purple-blue, 6-12 cm long and 3-4.5 cm broad, with numerous small scales and exserted bracts. They break up when mature at 6–8 months old to release the winged seeds.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh.

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