Summary and Origin Edit
The European Silver Fir (Abies alba), also known as the silver fir, is a fir native to the mountains of Europe, from the Pyrenees north to Normandy, east to the Alps and the Carpathians, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and south to Italy, Bulgaria, Albania and northern Greece.
Abies is derived from Latin, meaning ‘rising one’. The name was used to refer to tall trees or ships.
Alba means ‘bright’ or ‘dead white’.
The European Silver Fir is a large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 40–50 m (130–160 ft) (exceptionally 60 m (200 ft)) tall and with a trunk diameter up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in). The largest measured tree was 60 m tall and had a trunk diameter of 3.8 m (12 ft). It occurs at altitudes of 300–1,700 m (980–5,580 ft) (mainly over 500 m (1,600 ft)), on mountains with rainfall over 1,000 millimetres (39 in) per year.
The leaves of this fir species are needle-like, flattened, 1.8–3.0 cm (0.71–1.18 in) long and 2.0 mm (0.079 in) wide by 0.5 mm (0.020 in) thick, glossy dark green above, and with two greenish-white bands of stomata below. The tip of the leaf is usually slightly notched at the tip. The cones (the non-flowering plant version of flowers) are 9–17 cm (3.5–6.7 in) long and 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 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. The wood of the tree is white, leading to the species name alba.