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

Illustrated are leaves and an elongated, cylindrical, purplish female cone.  Die Coniferen t.XXIV, 1840-42.

Abies spectabilis (D.Don) Spach. | Die Coniferen t.XXIV/1840-42 as Pinus Webbiana | BHL

More details about Abies spectabilis (D.Don) Spach.
Family Pinaceae
Region of origin


  • Abies webbiana Lindl.
  • Picea webbiana Loud.
  • Pinus webbiana Wall. ex Lamb.
Common Name

Himalayan fir

Name in the Camden Park Record

Picea Webbiana 

Confidence level high