Abies koreana

Korean Fir




  • native to Korea
  • zone 5

Habit and Form

  • evergreen tree
  • compact tree reaching only about 30' tall, usually shorter
  • medium texture
  • slow growing

Summer Foliage

  • 0.5" to 1" long needles
  • entire margins
  • dark green
  • 2 whitish stomatal bands on underside with a thin green midrib in between
  • needle apex is notched
  • needles densely cover stem
  • resinous buds

Autumn Foliage

  • no fall color (evergreen)


  • no ornamental value
  • monoecious


  • immature fruit are a deep violet-purple, maturing to tan
  • 2 to 3" long and half as wide
  • cones appear on very young plants
  • slightly tapered cylindrical shape
  • very ornamental


  • typical for the genus Abies sp.; smooth with resin blisters
  • gray-brown color


  • somewhat more heat tolerant than other Abies sp., but prefers colder climates
  • moist, well-drained soil
  • full sun

Landscape Uses

  • nice accent tree
  • screen
  • massing
  • decoration (cones)


  • hard to find
  • only grows well in cool, moist locations
  • dislikes high pH
  • often damaged by deer

ID Features

  • needles have notched tip
  • deep purple cones produced on young plants
  • circular leaf scars
  • buds are conical and resinous


  • by seed


'Aurea' - A slow-growing form (perhaps only 2" per year) that bears golden needles. An irregular plant that may not always have a leader, thus it can form a small tree or a medium-sized shrub.

'Horstmann's Siberlocke' and 'Silver Snow' - Clones with silvery new growth and twisted needles. 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' is widely available and popular. This form features needles that curve upwards to reveal their white undersides. The overall effect is very striking and unusual in texture.

Many dwarf forms such as 'Compact Dwarf' and 'Prostrata' (also called 'Prostrate Beauty') exist with varying shapes and sizes. Some of these may be only rooted cuttings from lower horizontal branches and vertical leaders which arise must be diligently removed. Their form is horizontal-spreading.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.