Abies numidica / Algerian fir
Abies numidica as described in 1866 by de Lannoy ex Carrière, in Revue Horticole (Paris) vol.37 no.106, is commonly known as Algerian fir. Synonyms include Abies pinsapo var. baborensis and Abies baborensis
Description. Algerian fir is a medium-sized to large evergreen coniferous species of tree which grows to a mature height of 65 to 115 feet (20 – 35 m) tall, with a trunk up to 3.2 feet (1 m) in diameter at breast height.
- The leaves are needle-like, moderately flattened, measuring 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 – 3.75 cm) long and circa 0.1 inch (2 – 3 mm) wide by 0.04 inch (1 mm) thick. Needles are glossy dark-green in color with a patch of greenish-white stomata near the tip above, and with two greenish-white bands of stomata below. The tip of the leaf is variable, usually pointed, but sometimes slightly notched, particularly on slow-growing shoots on older trees.
- The seed cones are glaucous green with a pink or violet tinge, maturing brown, 4 to 8 inches (10 – 20 cm) long and 1.5 inches (4 cm) broad, consisting of about 150 to 200 scales, each scale with a short bract (not visible on the closed cone) and two winged seeds that disintegrate when mature to release the seeds.
Distribution. This species is native to Algeria where it is endemic to Djebel Babor, the country's second-highest mountain at 6,500 feet (2,004 m) elevation in the Algerian Tell. It grows in a high-altitude Mediterranean climate at approximately 6,000 feet (1,800 – 2,000 m) elevation (rarely down to 1,300 feet / 1,220 m) with an annual precipitation of 50 to 60 inches (1,500 – 2,000 mm), the great majority of which falls as winter snow; the summers are warm and very dry. It is closely related to Abies pinsapo (Spanish fir), which occurs further west in the Rif mountains of Morocco and in southern Spain.
This species is popular as an ornamental tree in parks and larger gardens as it is valued among firs for its drought tolerance and attractive appearance.
Attribution from: Wikipedia