Abies spectabilis (D.Don) Spach.
Half-hardy, variable, evergreen tree with stout, reddish-brown young shoots, dense, two-ranked leaves, to 6cm long, and cylindrical cones, to 18cm long, violet-purple when young. To 45m. [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].
Horticultural & Botanical History
Introduced to Britain in 1822. [JD]. Leaves and cones are illustrated in Die Coniferen. [Die Coniferen t.XXII/1840-42].
History at Camden Park
Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [C.53/1857]. Pinus webbiana was included in a consignment of plants sent from Kew by John Bidwill in November 1843 [AJCP]. These plants most likely came to Camden but if so did not seem to have survivied. Abies Webbiana was included among desiderata in a letter to Loddiges nursery dated 16th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.147]. But in a letter to Loddiges’ on 13th February 1848 Macarthur reported that both religiosa and webbiana were dead on arrival [MP A2933-1, p.172]. It was probably later obtained from the London Horticultural Society or Kew Gardens. It was included among desiderata in a letter to John Lindley dated 15th February 1848 [MP A2933-1, p.157] and to Sir William Hooker on 11th February 1848 [MP A2933-1, p.165] but was not marked ‘arrived’ on Macarthur’s copies.
Picea webbiana Gord. (1858) = Abies firma Siebold & Zucc., the ‘Japanese fir’.
Published Jul 16, 2009 - 04:42 PM | Last updated Jul 29, 2010 - 03:20 PM