Sunday, April 18, 2010

European Silver Fir - Abies alba

The European silver fir (abies alba) gets its name from the silvery color effect caused by the white stripes along the undersides of the needle like leaves.  It is a common tree used for Christmas trees in Europe and North America, prized for its color, shape and for the fact that its needles are not excessively sharp.

Smooth gray bark

Detail of the undersides of the needle like leaves. Notice also the alternate pattern arrangement on the branch.  The needles themselves are flat and also have a flat arrangement on the branch.

The branchlets also form a geometric pattern (common to most true firs)