Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Abies alba
Silver Fir
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

The Silver Fir is also known as the European Fir.


Distinguishing Features - A tall tree with a long clear bole surmounted by a pyramidal crown that becomes flat-topped with age, growing to a height of 46 m.

Silver Fir Bark: smooth, gray, scaly, with resin blisters; branches: grooved, pale brown or dull gray with a blackish pubescence. Leaves: shade foliage 2-ranked, spreading horizontally; foliage in sun more or less erect; needle base twisted, apex notched or rounded; upper surface dark shiny green and grooved, usually lacking stomata; lower surface glaucous to whitish-green, keeled , with stomata in 5-8 ranks. Buds pale brown to reddish-brown, ovoid with an obtuse apex, sometimes resinous, slightly pubescent. Cones: cylindrical, attenuate at the ends, green when young, turning red-brown. Cone scales: spathulate, finely pubescent with exserted, reflexed bracts extending about 2/3 the length of the scale. Pollen cones: blue/violet/red, 1-3 cm long. Seeds: obovoid, reddish, winged, up to 2.5 cm long.


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; prefers fresh, moist soils in higher altitudes.


The Silver Fir appears to have a silvery color when seen from below.

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