An Eco-sustainable World
ArborealSpecies Plant

Abies pindrow

Abies pindrow

The Pindrow fir or West Himalayan Fir (Abies pindrow (Royle ex D. Don) Royle) is an arboreal species belonging to the Pinaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Pinophyta Division,
Pinopsida class,
Order Pinales,
Pinaceae family,
Genus Abies,
A. pindrow species.
Basionimo is the term:
– Pinus pindrow Royle ex D. Don.
The terms are synonymous:
– Abies pindrow var. intermedia A.Henry;
– Picea pindrow (Royle ex D.Don) Loudon;
– Pinus pindrow Royle ex D.Don.
The following varieties are recognized within this species:
– Abies pindrow var. brevifolia Dallim. & A.B.Jacks.;
– Abies pindrow var. pindrow.

Etymology –
The term Abies comes from Abies which is the classical Latin name (Virgil, Egloghe, from the Sanskrit root abh gush of resin); according to another interpretation it would derive from the Greek word ἄβιος = long-lived.
The specific epithet pindrow was coined by John Forbes Royle in assonance with the vernacular name of this fir in the Simla region.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Abies pindrow is a conifer endemic to the western Himalayas and the adjacent mountains, from north-east Afghanistan to the east through northern Pakistan and India to central Nepal.
Its habitat is that of high mountain altitudes between 2000 and 3700 m, on rocky soils. The reference climate is cold, monsoonal, with abundant precipitation, mostly snow. In these areas it forms, at higher altitudes, pure forests, or in association with Picea smithiana, Pinus wallichiana, Tsuga dumosa and Cedrus deodara; at lower altitudes it is found in association with deciduous species such as Quercus semecarpifolia, Quercus dilatata, Juglans regia, Aesculus indica and various species of the genera Acer, Prunus and Ulmus.

Description –
Abies pindrow is a fir that can reach 60 m in height, with a trunk up to almost 2.5 m in diameter and short branches.
It has a conical posture with a narrow crown. The shoots are spherical, yellow-gray and pubescent.
The bark is gray and smooth when young which, over the years, thickens, becoming gray-brown and deeply furrowed.
The needle-like leaves are 3-6 cm long, bifid, dark green in color with two gray bands of stomata on the underside. The buds are large, spherical and resinous.
The cones are cylindrical cones, purple and then brown when ripe, 10-18 cm long and 6-7 cm wide, with 3 cm wide scales. The seeds are 10-12 mm long.

Cultivation –
Abies pindrow is an evergreen tree and is an important timber tree in the western Himalayas, where it is commonly harvested from the wild and traded.
It grows in eastern Asia, in the western Himalayas, from Afghanistan to western Nepal in mountain forests, sometimes in pure populations, which grow on alpine lithosols and generally prefer northern exposures and shady locations; at altitudes between 2,000 and 3,700 meters.
The climate is cool and humid monsoon with abundant rainfall, most of which falls in the form of snow.
It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are between 16 and 24 ° C, but can tolerate between 2 and 32 ° C.
This conifer, in a dormant state, can survive temperatures as low as around -10 ° C, but the young spring vegetation can be damaged as early as 0 ° C.
It prefers an average annual rainfall in the range of 1,300 – 2,000 mm, but tolerates 1,100 – 2,500 mm.
From the pedological point of view it prefers a good moist soil but not impregnated with water; it grows well in heavy clay soils and prefers slightly acidic conditions with a pH of around 5.5 – 6.5, but can tolerate 5 – 7.5.
Plants are very shade tolerant, especially when young, but growth is slower in dense shade.
It is a conifer intolerant to air pollution and prefers to grow on a north-facing slope.
Propagation occurs by seed. Sowing should be done in late winter in a greenhouse or outdoors in early spring.
Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce more uniform germination, so it is recommended that the seed be sown in an unheated seedbed as soon as it is ripe in the fall period.
The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if well preserved.
Young saplings should be planted in the open field when they are quite small, between 30 and 90 cm in height, as larger plants root badly and struggle to grow.

Customs and Traditions –
Abies pindrow is a conifer used for timber in its native range. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental tree in large gardens in Western Europe, but it requires high humidity and rainfall to grow well.
The wood is light, soft, not very resistant. It is used in construction, especially for interior works such as floorboards, ceilings and stairs; it is also often used for cases, tea boxes, furniture and drinking troughs. Wood is also used for making matches and paper pulp.
Wood is also used as a fuel.
From the leaves is obtained an aromatic oil of straw yellow color.
From an ecological point of view, it is a plant that, currently (2013) is classified as a species at minimum risk of extinction in the IUCN Red List, due to its very large range and the absence of evidence of decline in its population.

Preparation Method –
Abies pindrow is a conifer that is used for its timber and essential oil while there are no known uses for food.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.
Photo source:

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *