Abies alba
Common name: 
European Silver Fir
Common Silver Fir
Pronunciation: 
A-bez AL-ba
Family: 
Pinaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Conifer
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Conifer, evergreen tree, large, 100-160(210)ft  [30-50(65)m] high, stem straight, branches whorled and horizontal or slightly ascending.  Bark smooth, with resin blisters, gray, square-plated when mature.  Needles regularly spaced (like teeth on a comb), in 2 ranks pointing toward apex, 15-–30 mm long and 1.5-–2 mm wide, upper rank shorter, tips notched or 2-pointed, dark green above, glossy, furrowed, occasional stomatal lines on the apex, 2 white stomatal lines on the underside.  Cones erect, 10-14 cm long to 5 cm wide, cylindrical, bronzed green when young, dark brown when ripe.
  • Sun or partial shade. Prefers fresh, moist soils in higher altitudes.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4          Native to the mountains of southern and central Europe east to Ukraine's Karpaty Mountains.  It is also found in Belarus, Asia and the Caucasus Mountains.
  • Many selections area available in the nursery trade, some of the common ones include: 'Green Spiral', 'Pendula', 'Pyramidalis' and 'Tortuosa'.
  • Silver Fir was a popular Christmas tree in Europe, but has been largely replaced by Nordmann Fir (which has denser, more attractive foliage), Norway Spruce (which is much cheaper to grow), and other species.
  • alba: white, the tree's foliage appears white or silver when viewed from below.
  • Portland, Oregon: Hoyt Arboretum.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • branches

    branches

  • branchlet, needles

    branchlet, needles

  • branchlet, needles, underside

    branchlet, needles, underside