Abies holophylla Maxim.
Пихта цельнолистная, чёрная/Needle fir, black fir
Family - Pinaceae
Early settlers to Primorye from the western Russia were confusing this coniferous tree with spruce therefore calling it a «black spruce» due to its rigid, prickly needles and dark bark.
However, spruce and fir are easy to distinguish by the needles. The fir needle's base is narrow followed by the «heel» expansion leaving round marks when the needles are dropped. Needles form spirals or combs and stay on the branches 9-12 years. The fir needles are longer than those of spruce.
Fir cones are always pointed upwards making “standing” appearance on the branches.
The needles of needle fir are singular, flat, 2,5-4,5 cm in length and 2-3 mm in width, pointed, but with non-split ends (unlike White-bark fir). The needles on old trees are rounded, dark green, turning brown in winter, forming crests on branches.
The young bark is greyish-brown and slightly exfoliating while the old one is thick, dark-brown, and sometimes blackish with deep longitudinal cracks.
The crowns are conical and pointed, turning flat with age.
This is the largest coniferous tree in the Far East reaching over 55 m tall, with the trunk diameter over 2 m. This is one of the long-living firs at Far East, staying healthy at the age of 500 years or more.
It grows only at the southern Primorye, where it can be found at elevations of up to 500 m above sea level.
Only a hundred years ago, it prevailed on the Muravjev-Amursky Peninsula but retreated to the Sedanka River as the result of loggings and fires happened in connection with Vladivostok's fort construction.
Distribution in the Russia's Far East. Southern Primorsky Krai.
General distribution. Northeastern China, Korean Peninsula.
Authors: M.N. Chipizubova , L.M. Pshennikova Photo: L. Pshennikova, Chipizubova M., N. Razzhigaeva Collage: E.V. Bibchenko