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Botanical drawings of noble fir

Introduced into Britain in 1830, the noble fir - or Abies procera - is a native of the forests of Washington and Oregon where it grows to a great height. Just like the Douglas fir, this species was introduced by David Douglas.

Regarded as a decorative species on account of its striking blue-grey foliage and steady growth, it is often used in Europe for making wreaths. In Denmark it's often the preferred species for Christmas trees.

Facts and stats

  • Height: This handsome conifer can reach 45 metres in height.
  • Leaves: It has long (25 mm) upswept bluish-grey needles at right angles to the twig.
  • Seeds: Its seeds are large upright cones with downturned feathery bracts.
  • Bark: The noble fir has pale grey to purplish, smooth bark.
  • Native to: Western North America.
  • Uses: The noble fir has been planted on a very limited scale in wetter, western parts of Britain. Its timber is hard and close-grained and often used for interior joinery.

Famous noble firs in Scotland

Diana's Grove noble fir

Head to Diana’s Grove in the grounds of Blair Castle in Perthshire, for a stunning example of this species. Nestled amongst the many other conifers stands an impressive 50 metre tall noble fir that measures almost four metres across its base.