Species list


Abies pinsapo

Spanish fir

Spanish fir, Spanish silver spruce (Eng), pinsapo, pino pinsapo, abeto andaluz (Spa), pinsap (Cat), izei espainiarra (Baq), abeto-espanhol (Por).


DID YOU KNOW...? In Serranía de Ronda, Málaga, Spanish fir branches used to be used as decorations in celebrations and religious festivals because their tips are shaped like small crosses.


Evergreen tree with a pyramidal form that can reach 30 m in height. The bark is dark ash-grey and the branches are arranged in layers or levels. The leaves are persistent, needle-like (acicular), and 0.6-1.6 cm long. They are all rounded or pointed at the tip, unlike the European silver fir (Abies alba Mill.), and are arranged in a cylindrical form, like a bottle brush. This tree has a small, brown, male cones that carry the pollen. The female cones break up when they are mature in the autumn of the following year. They are cylindrical, smooth, upright on the branches and consist of triangular woody scales inside which are pairs of seeds (pine nuts), although in this case, the membranous wing does not protrude.


This species primarily grows on limestone substrates forming pure forests or being mixed with holm oaks and Portuguese oaks. We find it at altitudes of 350-2000 m on slopes with a northern or northwestern exposure. It grows in good to very stony soils, as long as there is enough rain, and therefore plays a very important role in stabilising slopes and hillsides. Interestingly, one of the places where this species grows spontaneously, the Sierra de Grazalema range, sometimes records the highest annual precipitation rate on the Iberian Peninsula.


This tree is endemic to Spain and northern Africa. On the Iberian Peninsula it is only found in the mountain ranges of Grazalema, in Cádiz, and the Serranía de Ronda, Sierra Bermeja and Nieves, in Malaga. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant for its beauty and slenderness.