Noble Fir

Giant Fir

Silver Fir

Abies procera

Abies grandis   

Abies alba



Belonging to the family Pinaceae, the Firs or Silver Firs exist in dozens of Species, Varieties and Cultivars. For the purposes of this brief introduction to the Genera, I will only touch on 3 different Species, all of which can be found growing in the UK, either in Forests, Parks and Gardens, Arboretums, or some of the dwarf ornamental cultivars, in rockeries and Heather Gardens.

The first thing to say about the Genus Abies is that the name ‘ABIES’ is the Family name of ‘FIR TREES’. Many people can be heard referring to any Conifer that they come across as  a Fir Tree, and that is not correct. A ‘Christmas Tree’, for example is a ‘Spruce’ and not a ‘Fir Tree’. A Fir Tree is a very specific Genus, and the name refers only to that type of Conifer.

This image is of The Noble Fir, Abies procera. Like all Fir Trees it is evergreen, makes a large tree, bares upright Cones, and its needles grow only on the upper part of the twig. They also mainly have pointed buds, and have white lines along the length of the underside of their needled. These lines are of the ‘Stomata’, which are the specialized cells that exist mainly on the underside of all leaves, and release the unwanted Oxygen that the process of Photosynthesis creates, into the air.

This image clearly illustrates the position of the needles on the branch.

This is The Giant Fir, Abies grandis.

And these are its needles.

Finally, this is the Silver Fir, Abies alba

And this a typical branch displaying its Cones