Fir of Spain, Abies pinsapo

Conifer with persistent foliage, family Pinaceae (Cedar, Norway Spruce,
Larch, Pine, Fir, Hemlock), genus Abies.

Abies alba = reddish-brown-green.
Abies cephalonica = cyan.
Abies cilicica = dark green.
Abies marocana = claret.
Abies nebrodensis = yellow.
Abies nordmanniana = purple.
Abies numidica = red.
Abies pinsapo = blue.

Origin : South of Spain (Sierra of Ronda, between 1000 and 1800 m of altitude). The Fir of Spain was known to the Grenade kingdom, then it was completely forgotten until 1838, when it was rediscovered on Mounts Thabor and Babor, in Kabylie.
Habitat: tree of light ('heliophilous"), the Fir of Spain tolerates the dry and hot sites. It makes the best of various soil types.
Height: 25-30 m tall.
Shape: conical (of a pyramid).
Grey-dark bark, longitudinally cracked on more ancient trees.
Foliage persistent on the tree during 11-13 years : needles disposed radially ("in bottlebrush") around stems, thick, hard, of 8-1,5 cm long, twisted from the base to the apex. Green-dark top. Two white stomatal bands on underside.
Flowers: in April and May, light brown, maturing in September and October, the seed, triangular, 2.5 cm wide.
Cylindrical cones, of 10-1 cm long, light brown, maturing in September and October; the seed, triangular, is 2,5 cm broad.

Use : ornamental tree. Overexploitation of the tree for its timber Spain failed to make it disappear from its native range.

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