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Woody > Abies > Abies alba > Abies alba 'Green Spiral'

Abies alba

'Green Spiral'

Green Spiral Silver Fir

Origin:  The original specimen was received by Secrest Arboretum of Wooster, Ohio in 1916 as a 0.3 m tall grafted plant from Biltmore Nursery of Asheville, North Carolina, under the name 'Tortuosa'
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Abies alba, 'Green Spiral' is a weeping form of silver fir. A strong central stem with branches that spiral around it. Branches and stems point downward into short curves. The original specimen was received by Secrest Arboretum of Wooster, Ohio in 1916. Making this a relatively rare old clone, named in 1979 by Sir Humphrey Welch. Green Spiral is a twisting, narrow, pendulous and semi-dwarf (9 m tall) tree.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


'Green Spiral'
Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 7
Canadian Hardiness Zone
2 - 5a
RHS Hardiness Zone
2 - 5
Temperature (°C)
-29 to 32
Temperature (°F)
-18 to 86
9 m
2 - 3 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Abies alba 'Green Spiral' is a weeping form of silver fir with a strong central stem. The branches spiral around with the lateral branches and stems pointing downward in short curves. Quite Fragrant.
Use as a great focal point plant to showcase its unusual growth habit.
Best grown in full sun, in slightly acidic, moist clay and loam well-drained soil.
Broadly upright, with twisting branches spiraling outward and down. Pyramidal and weeping.
ID Characteristic
Green Spiral is a twisted, semi-dwarf, narrow pendulous 9 m tall tree that is propagated by specialist nurseries. Needles are short and dense.
Silver Fir Beetle and Fir Root Bark Beetle. Outbreaks are rare however, a large outbreak of these two species has occurred. In 1955, an outbreak killed more than 528 million Pacific Abies alba over more than a million acres.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Smooth and grey.
Leaf Description
Dense, dark green glossy needles.
Fruit Description
Small male cones of pinkish-violet are produced alongside large, cylindrical female cones that turn from yellow-green to sienna.
Colour Description
Dark green and glossy.
Texture Description
Dense short flattened needles are held horizontally when growing in partial sun and erect on those grown in full sun.
Notable Specimens
Specimens growing at Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, Ohio are the best examples of this cultivar. These particular specimens are mentioned in the Manual of Cultivated Conifers by Krussman. They are reported to have been planted as a high graft in 1916 and delivered from Biltmore Nursery.
Grown from a grafted plant from specialist nurseries (a horticultural technique whereby tissues from one 'Green Spiral' are inserted into those of another Abies alba root system so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together).
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Edible inner bark.
ABIES alba 'Green Spiral' (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2016, from Courtney, S. (2014, July 4). Conifer Trinomial: Abies alba 'Green Spiral' | American Conifer Society. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from