|Spanish fir at Wakehurst Place Botanical Gardens in the UK|
Abies pinsapo, the Spanish fir, is a species of fir native to southern Spain and northern Morocco. Related to other species of Mediterranean firs, it is considered the Andalusian National Tree. In Spain, 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 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.
The cultivars A. pinsapo ‘Aurea’ (to 8m, with golden new growth) and A. pinsapo 'Glauca' (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.
A Spanish fir in Tasmanian botanical gardens
- 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.
- "Abies pinsapo 'Aurea'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- RHS Plant Selector Abies pinsapo 'Glauca' AGM / RHS Gardening
- Conifer Specialist Group (1998). "Abies pinsapo". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006.
- Abies Pinsapo in the Sierra de Grazalema The Pinsapo tree in the Sierra de Grazalema, Spain.
- Tourist information for the Sierra de Grazalema Information about Grazalema and surrounding areas.
- Abies pinsapo - distribution map and related resources. European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN)
- Abies marocana - distribution map and related resources. European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN)