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Abies cilicica

Abies cilicica - Cilician fir description


Scientific name: Abies cilicica  (Antoine & Kotschy) Carrière  1855

Synonyms: Abies cilicica subsp. cilicica, Abies kotschyana Fenzl ex Tchich., Abies rinzii Gordon, Abies selinusia Carrière, Abies tchugatskoi Lawson ex Gordon, Picea cilicica (Antoine & Kotschy) Rauch. ex Gordon, Pinus cilicica Antoine & Kotschy, Pinus tchugatskoi Fisch. ex Henkel & Hochst.

Infraspecific taxa: Abies cilicica subsp. isaurica   Coode & Cullen 1965

Common names: Cilician fir, Syrian fir, Taurus fir, Toros göknarı (Turkish)



Tree to 30 m tall, with trunk to 0.7(-1) m in diameter. Bark gray, becoming flaky and then furrowed with age. Branchlets with scattered short brown hairs or none, grooved between the leaf bases. Buds 3-4 mm long, not resinous or with sparse resin. Needles straight, angled forward, arranged to the sides and above the twigs, 2.5-4 cm long, bright green above, the tips bluntly pointed, rounded, or notched. Individual needles flat in cross section and with a resin canal on either side near the edge usually just inside the lower epidermis but sometimes deep within, usually without stomates in the groove above and with six or seven rows of stomates in each greenish white stomatal band beneath.  Pollen cones 10-15 mm long, red. Seed cones cylindrical 15-20(-30) cm long, 4-6 cm across, green when young, maturing reddish brown. Bracts usually much shorter than the scales and hidden by them, occasionally just poking straight out between them. Persistent cone axis narrowly conical. Seed body 9-12 mm long, the wing a little longer. Cotyledons or eight (or nine).

Mountains of Lebanon and south-central Turkey, in the western and central Taurus Ranges (ancient Cilicia, hence the species name). Forming pure stands or mixed with cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) and other conifers and also with evergreen hardwoods at lower elevations; 1,000-1,800(-2,100) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened



Abies cilicica ’H Broom’
Abies cilicica ’Hunnewell WB’   
Abies cilicica ’Kostelec’
Abies cilicica ’Lale’
Abies cilicica ’Majestic’

Abies cilicica ’Spring Grove’


Attribution from: Conifers Garden