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ABIES cephalonica

Image of Abies cephalonica

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

ABIES cephalonica

Plant Common Name

Grecian Fir, Greek Fir

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The highlands of Greece reveal stands of this tall evergreen conifer, appropriately known as the Grecian fir. It grows on calcareous and alkaline soils at elevations between 1,800 and 7,000 feet. When mature, the tree's silhouette is a tall, broadly pyramid with horizontal branches.

When young, the Grecian fir has smooth, reddish brown branches, but with age the bark is gray with streaks of pink and brown on fissured, oblong plates. The flattened needles are glossy dark green with a whitish underside. Crushing the needles releases only a faint fragrance. The male and female cones appear on different branches, with the female wind-pollinated cones persisting well into winter. Each cone is long and upright, first sienna to violet, and ripening to golden brown. Specks of resin cover the cone's scales. Shed seeds are triangular and reddish brown.

Grow the Grecian fir in full to partial sun in a moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil. It tolerates moderately acidic soils, but a neutral to alkaline soil is best. Use is as a windbreak or specimen tree. A somewhat faster growing fir, it's become a recent subject for use on Christmas tree farms.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    80'-110' / 24.4m - 33.5m

  • Width

    25'-35' / 7.6m - 10.7m

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No