Abies Mill.

Abies is a genus of ca. 40-50 species (46 according to Mabberley 2008), chiefly confined to mountainous regions in Eurasia, North America and North Africa. None is native in Belgium. A majority of the species is in cultivation for timber production or as ornamentals.

In Belgium Abies alba is by far the commonest species in cultivation. Lambinon & al. (2004) further cites Abies concolor (Gord. et Glend.) Lindl. ex Hildebr., A. grandis, A. koreana E.H. Wils., A. nordmanniana (Steven) Spach, A. procera Rehd. and A. veitchii Lindl.

Saplings of Abies are somehow reminiscent of Pseudotsuga in the field. However, in the two species treated below leaves are conspicuously notched at apex. In addition leaf scars are always circular and not raised. In Pseudotsuga leaves are acute at apex and inserted on a distinct projection.

  • Twigs with hairs > 0,25 mm long. Leaves ca. 15-30 mm long. Buds not resinous. Female cones with bracts exserted === 1. Abies alba
  • Twigs with hairs < 0,25 mm long. Leaves ca. 25-50(-60) mm long. Buds resinous. Female cones with bracts included === 2. A. grandis


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Liu T.S. (1971) A monograph of the genus Abies. National Taiwan University, Taipei: 608 p.

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Rushforth K.D. (1986) Abies. In: Walters S.M. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 1: 88-94. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Vignié M.-T. & Gaussen H. (1929) Révision du genre Abies. Bull. Soc. Hist. Natur. Toulouse 57: 369-434, 58: 245-564.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith