Virtues: We love Korean fir (Abies koreana) for its distinctive purple cones that add interest alongside its silvery green needles. This relatively small conifer fits better in most garden than many other evergreen tree options.
Common name: Korean fir
Botanical name: Abies koreana
Flowers: Insignificant. Followed by upright cones that start out purple and mature to tan. The cones of the Korean fir appear while the tree is still young, as compared to other fir or pine trees which can take many years to reach fruiting age.
Foliage: Evergreen needles of the Korean fir are dark green on top and whitish or silvery on their undersides.
Habit: Slowly grows up to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. In the landscape, a size of 15 feet tall and 6 feet wide is more common. This evergreen tree has a pyramid shape.
Season: Year-round as an evergreen. Purple to tan cones add extra visual interest beginning in spring.
Origin: Upper mountain slopes of South Korea.
How to grow Korean fir: Plant in full sun to part shade. Provide good drainage and a moderate water supply. Water Abies koreana in dry spells because it does not tolerate drought. USDA Zones 5–8.
Image: “Abies koreana cone”. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
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