Abies delavayi var. nukiangensis,first described by W.C. Cheng and L.K. Fu (Farjon 1990) differs from the type by longer, but variable: 0.5-1.7 inches (1.2-4.3 cm) and broader (1.5-2.8 mm) leaves, which are less revolute. The shoot is purplish-brown and glabrous. The cone is purplish-Blue and has the same apically thickened, obtriangular-flabellate seed scales as the type, but included bract scales with a short cusp, which may be barely visible in the lower part of the mature cone. These minor differences do not justify treatment of this material as a species, but deserve recognition as a variety. It is also native to lower elevations (7500-10,000 feet [2500-3100 m]) (Farjon 1990).
synonyms for this variety include Abies nukiangensis (Cheng & Fu), Abies fansipanensis (Q.P. Xiang), Abies delavayi ssp. fansipanensis (Q.P. Xiang) Rushforth).