Abies pinsapo

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Abies pinsapo
Moroccan fir at Wakehurst Place Botanical Gardens in the UK
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Gymnospermae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Abies
A. pinsapo
Binomial name
Abies pinsapo
Natural range

Picea pinsapo (Boiss.) Loudon

Abies pinsapo, Spanish fir, is a species of tree in the family Pinaceae,[2][3] native to southern Spain and northern Morocco.[4] Related to other species of Mediterranean firs, it appears at altitudes of 900–1,800 metres (3,000–5,900 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 conifer 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.

The cultivars A. pinsapo ‘Aurea’[5] (to 8m, with golden new growth) and A. pinsapo 'Glauca'[6] (to 12m plus, with grey-green leaves) have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.


Spanish fir, despite the best conservation and reforestation efforts that have greatly increased its abundance, still has several threats such as fires, urban projects, erosion, excessive visitors and tourists, etc.



  1. ^ Arista, A.; Alaoui, M.L.; Knees, S.; Gardner, M. (2011). "Abies pinsapo". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2011: e.T42295A10679577. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T42295A10679577.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Abies pinsapo Boiss". Plants of the World Online. The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. n.d. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  3. ^ "Abies pinsapo Boiss". World Flora Online. The World Flora Online Consortium. n.d. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  4. ^ Alizoti, P.G.; Fady, B.; Prada, M.A.; Vendramin, G.G (2009). "Mediterranean firs - Abies spp" (PDF). EUFORGEN Technical Guidelines for Genetic Conservation and Use. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-20. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  5. ^ "Abies pinsapo 'Aurea'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Abies pinsapo 'Glauca'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.

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