Abies cephalonica

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Greek Fir
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Abies
Species: A. cephalonica
Binomial name
Abies cephalonica
Loudon
Distribution map

Greek Fir (Abies cephalonica) is a fir native to the mountains of Greece, primarily in the Peloponnesos and the island of Kefallonia, intergrading with the closely related Bulgarian Fir further north in the Pindus mountains of northern Greece. It is a medium-size evergreen coniferous tree growing to 25–35 metres (82–115 ft) – rarely 40 m (130 ft) – tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in). It occurs at altitudes of 900–1,700 m (3,000–5,600 ft), on mountains with a rainfall of over 1,000 millimetres (39 in).

The leaves are needle-like, flattened, 1.5–3.0 cm (0.6–1.2 in) long and 2 mm (0.08 in) wide by 0.5 mm (0.02 in) thick, glossy dark green above, and with two blue-white bands of stomata below. The tip of the leaf is pointed, usually fairly sharply but sometimes with a blunt tip, particularly on slow-growing shoots on older trees. The cones are 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) broad, with about 150–200 scales, each scale with an exserted bract and two winged seeds; they disintegrate when mature to release the seeds.

It is also closely related to Nordmann Fir to the east in northern Turkey.

Uses[edit]

Greek Fir was important in the past for wood for general construction, but it is too rare to be of significant value now. It is also grown as an ornamental tree in parks and large gardens, though in areas that often get late frosts it is prone to frost damage, as it is one of the first conifers to come to leaf in spring.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gardner, M. & Knees, S. (2011). "Abies cephalonica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 

External links[edit]