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Abies cephalonica

Abies cephalonica - Greek fir description


Scientific name: Abies cephalonica  Loudon  1838

Synonyms: Abies acicularis Maxim. ex Lavallée, Abies alba subsp. cephalonica (Loudon) K.Richt., Abies alba var. cephalonica (Loudon) Richt., Abies apollinis Link, Abies heterophylla K.Koch, Abies luscombeana Loudon, Abies panachaica Heldr., Abies peloponnesiaca Haage ex K.Koch, Abies peloponnesica Haage ex Heldr., Abies reginae-amaliae Heldr., Picea apollinis (Link) Rauch. ex Gordon, Picea cephalonica (Loudon) Loudon, Picea panachaica Heldr. ex Carrière

Common names: Greek fir, Grecian fir, Apollo fir, Kukunaria, Elate (Greek)



Tree to 30 m tall, with trunk to 1(-2) m in diameter. Bark grayish brown, becoming furrowed with age. Branchlets not hairy, prominently grooved between the leaf bases. Buds 4.5-7 mm long, not resinous. Needles arranged straight out all around the twigs or twisting to point upward, (1.5-)1.8-3(-3.5) cm long, shiny dark green above, the tips variably pointed, often prickly. Individual needles flat or plumpish in cross section and with a resin canal on either side near the edge just inside the lower epidermis or well away from it, with only a few stomates near the tip or with up to seven lines of stomates in the groove above and with 6-8(-10) lines in each white stomatal band beneath. Pollen cones 12-18 mm long, purplish red. Seed cones cylindrical, (10-)12-16 cm long, (3.5-)4-5 cm across, brownish green when young, maturing reddish brown. Bracts longer than the seed scales and bent back over them, sometimes almost covering them. Persistent cone axis narrowly conical. Seed body 6.5-9 mm long, the wing up to 1.5 times as long. Cotyledons five to seven.

Mountains of Greece. Forming pure stands or mixed with black pine (Pinus nigra) at higher elevations and with other species near its lower limit; (600-)900-1,600(-2,000) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern



Abies cephalonica ’Aurea’
Abies cephalonica ’Aureovariegata’
Abies cephalonica ’Barabits Gold’
Abies cephalonica ’Greg’s Broom’
Abies cephalonica ’Meyer’s Dwarf’
Abies cephalonica ’Nana’
Abies cephalonica ’Pyramidalis’
Abies cephalonica ’Rubiginosa’
Abies cephalonica ’Robusta’


Attribution from: Conifers Garden