Abies pinsapo

Spanish fir

  • © Mary Randlett

  • © Wikimedia Commons - David Iliff

Outstanding Qualities

Spanish fir is a stately and majestic specimen evergreen that draws attention with its graceful yet rigid layered branches, narrow conical shape and unusual stiff green to slightly blue-green short needles. The non prickly needles are arranged radially around the branchlets which creates an interesting texture and is enticing to the touch. In early spring the branch tips are covered with surprisingly beautiful small violet-red pollen cones. The slow growth and disease resistance of this fir make it an excellent selection for urban plantings.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: pyramidal conifer

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 60 ft. 0 in. (18.29 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 8

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Seasonal Interest: pink-purple raspberry-like immature female cones

Wildlife Associations: birds

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’, Mahonia x media ‘Charity’, Pinus parviflora Glauca Group, Acer palmatum ‘Emperor I’, Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus ‘Cosmopolitan’

Great Color Contrasts: red, white, pale yellow, pink

Great Color Partners: blue, purple

Culture Notes
Abies pinsapo performs best in full sun with well-drained soil. Once established it is drought tolerant and heat tolerant. It has no serious pest or disease problems. It is quite slow growing, but will eventually become a lovely graceful tree. Only prune broken or damaged branches and provide enough space for it to fully develop over the years.
Geek Notes
Native to the provinces of Cádiz and Malaga in southern Spain from 3,000–5,600 feet (900–1,700 m) in elevation and found only in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco at 4,600–6,900 feet (1,400–2,100 m).