Abies concolor 'Blue Saphir' / Blue Sapphire white fir

Abies concolor 'Blue Saphir' is a diminutive selection of white fir with irregular, radiating branching; and short, bright-blue needles, lightening to silver at the tips; measuring only 0.5 inch (1 cm) long. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 16 inches (40 cm) wide, an annual rate of growth of only 1 inch (2.5 cm).

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in 1998 on a specimen of A. concolor 'Violaceae’ by Miroslav Malík at his nursery in České Budějovice, Czech Republic. He states that the original broom was 20 feet (6 m) high in the mother tree and measured 20 inches (50 cm) around. There are many varying opinions pertaining to how the cultivar name should be spelled. Malík published it as shown here. It is commonly seen listed as, 'Blue Sapphire,' 'Blue Safir,' or simply as, 'Malik.'

Abies concolor 'Blue Saphire' — a cute young specimen grafted high on a standard.
Photo by Bill Barger
Abies concolor 'Blue Saphir' — the original broom in Czech Republic. Photo courtesy of conifertreasury.org
Photo by Zsolt Mesterházy & Miroslav Malík