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Grecian Fir (Abies cephalonica)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Grecian Fir
Abies cephalonica

Wood – light, soft, durable. Used for construction, pulp, etc[61, 148].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March[78]. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks[78]. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[80, 113]. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre[78] whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position[80].
Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant but growth is slower in dense shade[81]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[1]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about 5, though it also succeeds in very chalky soils[200]. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope[200]. This species needs careful siting because it usually comes into leaf early in the spring and the young growth can be damaged by late frosts[11, 185]. Trees can therefore be rather slow to establish[185]. A position sheltered from early morning sun is preferred and frost hollows should be avoided[11, K]. Trees grow very well in Britain, and unlike most other members of this genus they succeed in southern and south-eastern England[11] though they are slow growing there. They are at their best in the Perthshire valleys of Scotland and the far west of Britain where growth is much faster[11, 185]. Growth in girth can be quite fast, 2 metres in 40 years has been recorded[185]. The species has been cultivated for timber in Italy[50]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200].
Europe – S. Greece to Yugoslavia and Albania.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.