Abies alba Pinaceae
European or Common Silver Fir A-bez AL-ba
- Conifer, evergreen tree, large, 100-160(210)ft [30-50(65)m] high, stem straight, branches whorled and horizontal
or slightly ascending. Bark smooth, with resin blisters, gray, square-plated when mature. Needles regularly
spaced (like teeth on a comb), in 2 ranks pointing toward apex, 15–30 mm long and 1.5–2 mm wide, upper rank shorter, tips notched
or 2-pointed, dark green above, glossy, furrowed, occasional stomatal lines on the apex, 2 white stomatal
lines on the underside. Cones erect, 10-14 cm long to 5 cm wide, cylindrical, bronzed green when
young, dark brown when ripe.
- Sun or partial shade. Prefers fresh, moist soils in higher altitudes.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native to the mountains of
southern and central Europe east to Ukraine's Karpaty Mountains. It is also found in Byelorussia,
Asia and the Caucasus Mountains.
- Many selections area available in the nursery trade, some of the common ones include: 'Green Spiral',
'Pendula', 'Pyramidalis' and 'Tortuosa'.
- Silver Fir was a popular Christmas tree in Europe, but has been largely replaced by Nordmann Fir
(which has denser, more attractive foliage), Norway Spruce (which is much cheaper to grow), and other species.
- alba: white, the tree's foliage appears white or silver when viewed from below.
- Portland, Oregon: Hoyt Arboretum.