Abies vejarii Martínez

Endemic to northeast Mexico where it occurs on steep mountain slopes near the summits or in cool ravines. It is under threat by wildfires.


Taxonomic Notes

Strandby et al. (2009) concluded that Abies vejarii and its various constituent infrataxa including A. zapotekensis are conspecific with A. religiosa, and they combined all of these as a new subspecies - Abies religiosa ssp. mexicana. There is no consensus on the taxonomy of Abies in southern Mexico and Guatemala and hence this new taxonomy is not followed here


Endemic to northeast Mexico where it occurs in the Sierra Madre Oriental in Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas states.

Habitat and Ecology

Abies vejarii is a high mountain species, occurring between (1,900-)2,800 m and 3,300 m above sea level on steep mountain slopes near the summits or in cool ravines. The soils are usually poor in humus content, but moist; the climate is cool, with relatively dry summers and wet winters. The species is commonly associated with various species of Pinus and with Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca, also with Quercus spp.; Cupressus arizonica and Picea engelmannii subsp. mexicana (another endemic relict taxon) have been reported with Abies vejarii var. mexicana.

Human Uses

This species and its infraspecific taxa are relatively rare trees with limited distribution, consequently their importance as timber trees is negligible. The species (including its infraspecific taxa) has been introduced to cultivation in the USA and Europe, but it remains restricted to arboreta and other plant collections despite its attractiveness and suitability especially in regions with warm summers and mild, wet winters. Cultivation from wild origin seed of var. mexicana would under appropriate circumstances contribute to ex situ conservation of this threatened taxon.

Conservation Status

Global status & rationale

Near Threatened

Although all three varieties taken separately qualify under criterion D2 for Vulnerable, taken together the species as a whole is just too widespread and occurs in too many locations. It would take the removal of several stands (localities sampled) by e.g. destructive forest fires, before the species would qualify for Vulnerable, it is therefore assessed as Near Threatened (almost qualifies for listing as Vulnerable under criterion D2).

Global threats

The most obvious threat to this species is the occurrence of devastating wildfires. It is not a commercial timber tree and logging, if it occurs, is limited.

Conservation Actions

Some stands of this species occur within protected areas, such as on Cerro Potosí.

References and further reading

  1. 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:
  2. 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).
  3. Strandby, U., Cristensen, K. and Sørensen, M. 2009. A morphometric study of the Abies religiosa–hickelii–guatemalensis complex (Pinaceae) in Guatemala and Mexico. Plant Systematics and Evolution 260: 59-76.

External links

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Entry last edited:

3 Nov 2019

Recommended Citation:

, 2019, Abies vejarii, from the website: ‘Threatened Conifers of The World’ ( Downloaded on 22 November 2019.

Categorised in:

Near Threatened, Fire, Southern Mesoamerica and Pinaceae