Abies koreana ‘Kohouts Icebreaker’ is a very fine, relatively new dwarf cultivar of Korean fir. Like it’s parent plant, ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke,’ ‘Kohouts Icebreaker’ has the same strongly-curled needles showing off the silvery undersides that make the species distinctive. Branches are short, stubby and radial. Young plants will be globose, later developing a leader, eventually becoming a small squat tree. Typical rate of growth in most areas is 1 to 3 inches (2.5 – 7.5 cm) per year, resulting in a shimmering silvery specimen, 2 feet (60 cm) tall and wide after 10 years in the garden.
Jörg Kohout of Elstra, Germany is credited with the origin and introduction of this cultivar. Icebreaker’s ortet was a witch’s broom that Jörg found on a specimen of Abies koreana ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ at his nursery. A distinctive trait of ‘Kohouts Icebreaker’ is its shimmering silvery recurved needles creating a striking effect in the garden. This cultivar is one of two that were selected in 2014 for the ACS Collectors Conifer of the Year program.