Genus of 51 species of conifers, mainly native to the mountainous areas of North and central America, Europe, Asia and North Africa. They are usually large conical trees, from which several dwarf cultivars have been developed. Evergreen plants with single needles in a two-rowed or spiral arrangement, with a flat cross section. Abies are different from Spruces (Picea) in that each needle features a couple of white lines on its undersurface, whereas the needles of Spruces have rhombic cross-sections and have no white lines. Firs feature characteristical resin-scented leaves, Their cones are erect and cylindrical and disintegrate when mature.
Latin name: Abies cephalonica
Branches grow in regular whorls. Very slow growth in small age.
Great requirements in water and air humidity. They grow in neutral or slightly acid, light, well-drained soils.
Trees are planted alone or in clusters and dwarf cultivars are planted in rock gardens. Large plants are used in Christmas decorations.
No pruning is required save perhaps in rare occasions, only to restore shape and to remove the occasional double leader.
Typical species are propagated by seeds that germinate easily in sprin at 15-20 οC after a 2-3 month cold stratification. Propagate cultivars by semi-woody cuttings in summer and early autumn. Seed-born plants take more than 10 years to reach 1.5-2 meters in height (3 years for the first 3 cm).
Subject to root rot such as Armelaria melea and Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
Species native to the mountains of Peloponnese, Central Greece and the island of Cephalonia, from which the plant's name is derived.
Big, pyramidal tree with green foliage, with acute needles and very resinous cones.
Relatively dry-tolerant species, grown in alkaline soils.