Common name: Mt. Fuji Fir, Veitch's silver-fir
Abies veitchii, one of the smallest trees in the Abies genus, is a coniferous evergreen native to central Japan (Honshu).
Abies veitchii has a neat conical shape, and its branches are evenly spaced. Its leaves curl to reveal silver-grey undersides. Upright cones, a characteristic of true firs, are usually produced near the top of the tree and are purplish blue in summer, changing to brown later in the year. A. veitchii is noted for its extraordinary cold hardiness and is impervious to damage from late spring frost.
Abies veitchii was discovered by John Gould Veitch, a British horticulturalist. He was one of the first Victorian plant hunters to visit Japan. It was found on the slopes of Mt. Fuji in 1860.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe