Abies cephalonica or Greek fir 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.
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 open fresh growth in spring.
- Media related to Abies cephalonica at Wikimedia Commons
- Photos of trees in Peloponnesos, Greece (captions in Italian; "abete" = Greek Fir, "pino nero" = Black Pine)
- Photo of a cone
- Abies cephalonica. Distribution map, genetic conservation units and related resources. European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN)