Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

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

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