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Abies sibirica 'semenovii'

(Tienshan fir)

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Abies sibirica subsp. semenovii, first described in 1899 by Boris Alexjewitsch (Alexeevich) Fedtschenko (1872- 1947), is commonly known as Tienshan fir. Occasionally, one will see this listed as a separate species (A. semenovii), however the majority of research available maintains it as a subspecies.

Description. Tienshan fir differs from the typical species though branchlets that are noticeably ridged and grooved and needles with marginal resin canals. Seed cones are yellow-brown, with broader bracts than those of var. sibirica.

kyrgyzstan_sm_2014
Kyrgyzstan, the native land of Abies sibirica subsp. semenovii. Note the Tien Shan range in the southeastern part of the country.

Distribution. This subspecies is confined to Kyrgyzstan — Talasskij Ala Tau, forming forests on the north-facing upper slopes of the Tien Shan or in steep ravines at elevations of 4,100 to 9,100 feet (1,300 – 2,850 m) above sea level where moisture from snowmelt remains available through summer.

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