Abies alba 'Schwarzwald' / Schwarzwald European silver fir

aka Abies alba 'Badenweiler'

Abies alba 'Schwarzwald' is a dense, dwarf selection of European silver fir with a tight, flat growth structure. Needles are somewhat shorter, thicker and fleshier than those typical of the species, and are glossy and rich-green in color. Branchlets are uniform and spread more horizontally than vertically. Typical growth rate for 'Schwarzwald' is 1 to 2 inches (5 - 10 cm) per year, resulting in a low, spreading shrub, 12 inches (30 cm) tall by 24 inches (60 cm) wide after 10 years in the garden. This conifer is a good choice for the rockery or the front of a mixed garden border.

Günter Eschrich, of Recklinghausen, Germany is credited with the origin and introduction of this cultivar in the late 1970s. Schwarzwald's ortet was a witch's broom that Eschrich found in the town of Badenweiler, Germany near the French border. Although 'Badenweiler' was the original (provisional) name, Eschrich later changed the cultivar name to 'Schwarzwald'. It is unknown at this time why he did so.

Abies alba 'Schwarzwald' — a mature specimen in a large arboretum setting.
Photo by Bill Barger
Abies alba 'Schwarzwald' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Abies alba 'Schwarzwald' showing typical structure and color.
Photo by Porterhowse Farms, Sandy, OR