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Cilician Fir (Abies cilicica)

Cilician Fir Tree The Dwarf and Unusual Conifer collection adjacent to Valley Drive has a number of interesting conifers from other parts of the world. One of these, Cilician Fir, is a native of Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria. Its name reflects the geographic region from which it comes. The Plains of Cilicia extend along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey north and northeast of the Island of Cyprus and adjacent to the Taurus Mountain. A narrow gorge through the mountain range is known as the Cilician Gates and provides access to the Anatolia Plateau. This gorge has served as a major military and commercial route for centuries.

In its native habitat Cilician Fir is a component of degraded forests at higher elevations (3200 to 7200 ft). The tree has a conical shape and may reach heights of 100 ft.

It has been used as a diuretic and to treat wrinkles, extract worms, and promote hair growth. Cilician Fir has been used for a variety of other purposes such as lumber, masts for boats, flag poles, and joinery.

Cilician Fir Bark Cilician Fir Upper Needles Cilician Fir Under Needles

Its grayish-brown bark is covered with resin pockets. The flat, evergreen needles, 1 to 1.5 in. long, are shiny green above, and underneath have two white bands formed by several lines of stomata. The upright cylindrical cones have resinous scales. The resin from these cone scales has been collected and used in mummification and in folk medicine as an antiseptic, for treating bacterial and viral infections, and for its anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties.

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu