Pinaceae (pine family) Abies

Abies cilicica Cilician fir

Turkey, Syria

The 1-inch needles of Cilician fir are dark glossy green on top and paler green below, but most of the underside is covered by two broad, whitish bands. Under a hand lens each band is seen to consist of half a dozen or so lines of separate white dots, the stomata that control gas exchange with the air.

Rich in history, long before and long after it was defined as a Roman province, Cilicia is on the Turkish coast, just north of Cyprus, and is now a cruise-ship destination. Its firs are not commonly planted; we are indebted to Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation for cultivating them.

Two beautiful 6-foot individuals are in the area bounded by Green Library, Meyer Green, and Galvez Module; another, 12 feet high, is east of the Clock Tower surrounded by a sea of prostrate tea-tree.

Name derivation: Abies – Latin name for fir; cilicica – of Cilicia, Turkey.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Mention of Meyer Library updated to Meyer Green (Oct 2017, SP).