Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis
Species Authority: Fernald
Parent Species:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-03
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.
Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis is assessed as Data Deficient. The subpopulations of this variety are undoubtedly relatively small and scattered (fragmented) but there is insufficient information about their number, extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) for a credible assessment to be made. Another problem is identity and several reports and specimen databases of herbaria list occurrences of this variety in Canada (e.g. Nova Scotia at the Harvard Herbaria) which are likely to be just forms of A. balsamea var. balsamea with (slightly) exserted bracts.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to Virginia and West Virginia, USA.
United States (Virginia, West Virginia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is very little information available on population size or trends that is specific to this variety.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs in the highest parts of the Appalachian Mountains, forming more or less pure stands or mixed with Tsuga canadensis and/or broadleaved trees e.g. Acer spp.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In recent years, this variety has gained popularity as a Christmas tree in the USA and it is therefore grown in tree nurseries for that purpose. The timber is also used for construction purposes.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The subpopulations in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia form the southernmost extent of the species and are scattered and isolated. Fires, pathogens and air pollution from industrial centres are (potential) threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This variety occurs in many protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Burns, R.M. and Honkala, B.H. 1990. Silvics of North America. USDA, Forest Service, Washington, DC.

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008) In Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK. Available at:

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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