|Spanish Fir in the Sierra de las Nieves|
Abies pinsapo (Spanish Fir) is a species of fir native to southern Spain and northern Morocco. Related to other species of mediterranean firs, is considered the Andalusian National Tree, native of the Andalusian mountains. In Spain, it appears at altitudes of 900–1,700 metres (3,000–5,600 ft) in the Sierra de Grazalema in the province of Cádiz and the Sierra de las Nieves and Sierra Bermeja, both near Ronda in the province of Málaga. In Morocco, it is limited to the Rif Mountains at altitudes of 1,400–2,100 metres (4,600–6,900 ft) on Jebel Tissouka and Jebel Tazaot.
Abies pinsapo is an evergreen tree growing to 20–30 m tall, with a conic crown, sometimes becoming irregular with age. The leaves are 1.5–2 cm long, arranged radially all round the shoots, and are strongly glaucous pale blue-green, with broad bands of whitish wax on both sides. The cones are cylindrical, 9–18 cm long, greenish-pink to purple before maturity, and smooth with the bract scales short and not exserted. When mature, they disintegrate to release the winged seeds.
The Moroccan variety, Abies pinsapo var. marocana or the Moroccan Fir, differs in the leaves being less strongly glaucous and the cones slightly longer, 11–20 cm long.
Spanish fir despite the best efforts of conservation and reforestation that have greatly increased the surface pinsapos, still has several threats such as fires, urban projects, erosion, excessive visitors and tourists, etc..
- Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Abies pinsapo. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
A Spanish Fir in Tasmanian botanical gardens