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Abies equi-trojani

Abies equi-trojani - Abies nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani - Trojan fir, Turkish fir, Uludağ fir, Kazdağı göknarı
  • Abies equi-trojani - Abies nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani - Trojan fir, Turkish fir, Uludağ fir, Kazdağı göknarı  - Click to enlarge
  • Abies equi-trojani branches - Click to enlarge
  • Abies equi-trojani leaves - Click to enlarge


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Product Information


Scientific name: Abies equi-trojani  (Asch. & Sint. ex Boiss.) Mattf.  1925

Synonyms: Abies alba subsp. equi-trojani (Asch. & Sint. ex Boiss.) Asch. & Graebn., Abies cephalonica var. graeca (Fraas) Tang S.Liu, Abies cephalonica var. greaca (Fraas) T.S. Liu, Abies nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani (Asch. & Sint. ex Boiss.) Coode & Cullen, Abies nordmanniana var. equi-trojani (Asch. & Sint. ex Boiss.) Guin. & Maire, Abies olcayana Ata & Merev, Abies pectinata var. equi-trojani Asch. & Sint. ex Boiss., Abies pectinata var. graeca Fraas, Abies x equi-trojani

Common names: Trojan fir, Turkish fir, Uludağ fir (English), Kazdağı göknarı (Turkish)



Trees to 25(-35) m tall, trunk 0.6-0.8 m, monopodial, straight, columnar, crown broad conical or pyramidal.  Bark of young trees smooth, grey, in old trees rough, shallowly fissured, blackish grey-brown. Branches of first order spreading, ascending in upper part of crown. Vegetative buds (slightly) resinous, young foliage shoots (branchlets) glabrous. Leaves spirally arranged, pectinate below, the upper leaves pressed forward above shoot, on coning shoots assurgent, (1.5-)2-4.4 cm long, 1.3-1.8 mm wide, strongly twisted at base, linear, flattened, sometimes with slightly revolute margins, grooved above, lustrous dark green above, two whitish green bands below, apex emarginate, obtuse on coning shoots. Stomata in two bands separated by a midrib below. Resin canals 2, marginal, small. Pollen cones lateral, crowded, pendulous, 1-2 cm long, yellowish. Seed cones lateral, erect, often crowded, short pedunculate, ovoid-cylindrical, with pointed and often papilliform apex, 8-17 cm long, 3-4 cm wide, greenish when immature, ripening to light brown (reddish brown inside). Seed scales flabellate or cyathiform, length × width at mid-cone 1.8-2.5 × 2.7-4 cm, surface smooth, slightly striated, pubescent on exposed parts. Cusps on bracts short, without a distinct midrib. Seeds cuneate, 10-12 × 7-8 mm, fawn brown, shiny. Seed wings cuneate, with rounded edge, 15-18 × 15 mm, light purplish brown or rose, turning fawn brown.

Most likely a natural hybrid between Caucasian fir (Abies nordmanniana) and Grecian fir (Abies cephalonica). Trojan fir is confined to two isolated mountain ranges in northwestern Turkey and is not now in contact with either of the presumed parent species. It has been treated as a species in its own right or as a variety or subspecies of both Abies cephalonica and Abies nordmanniana. Its morphological intermediacy and apparent hybrid vigor in growth rate, coupled with extensive pollen sterility, argue in favor of a hybrid origin. In Turkey this taxon is treated as a distinct species.  

The similarities of Abies equi-trojani to Abies bornmuelleriana and Abies nordmanniana in the needle characteristics and close relationships between these three taxa detected in investigation seem to support their infraspecific systematic position proposed by Cullen and Coode (1965). The analysis of fir speciation within the Mediterranean indicated the historical development of the Balkan and North Anatolian contemporary species from one Tertiary ancestor (Liepelt et al., 2009, 2010). Its hypothetically broad geographic range was divided since the Miocene into the Balkan and Middle Asiatic regions, then isolated during Miocene and Pliocene geological and climatic events, which caused the formation of the current taxa (Linares, 2011). Possible contact and gene exchange during the Pliocene and Pleistocene climate oscillations were likely responsible for the observed morphological and genetic differentiation of the Balkan and Anatolian taxa (Scaltsoyiannes et al., 1999; Kaya et al., 2008; Liepelt et al., 2010; Linares, 2011), as firs retain a high level of ability to cross-pollinate among species (Kormutak et al., 2013; Bella et al., 2015; Krajmerová et al., 2016). These historical events were the reason for the muted morphological differences between Abies equi-trojani, Abies bornmuelleriana, and Abies nordmanniana, independently of the systematic status assigned to each of them.

Western Turkey, confined to Kazdag (Ida Mountain), near Troy (hence the species name), and Ulu-Dagh (Mt. Olympus of Bithynia), a little farther inland. Forming pure stands at high elevation but mixed with oaks (Quercus) and beech (Fagus orientalis) below; 750-1,800 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered

The total area of occupancy (AOO) for Abies nordmanniana ssp. equi-trojani is estimated to be ca 164 km². Although there are no specific figures for the Abies forests in Ulu-Dagh National Park (Mt. Olympus), the park covers an area of 128 km² and this figure is used as an estimate. The AOO of Kaz-Daghi is 36 km². There are numerous documented threats to the Kaz-Daghi subpopulation including loss of mature individuals due to local logging, acid rain and degradation to the habitat due to recreational activities and fire. Consequently this taxon is assessed as Endangered. The two subpopulations are ca 250 km apart.

Grows in mixed forests with Quercus spp., Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana, Juniperus communis var. saxatilis and Fagus orientalis at an altitudinal range of between 750-1,800 m. on north-facing slopes or in pure stands.

The Mt. Ida subpopulation has suffered from illegal logging by local villagers. There is also degradation of the habitat caused by the density of visitor numbers to the National Park, especially as a result of the annual Sarikiz Festival which is held on the summit in August; the negative effects are caused through a lack of suitable facilities for large numbers of visitors. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) from a nearby power plant is also causing noticeable damage; acid rain is retarding growth of the Abies and in extreme cases it is causing the death of the forest. Fire is also another serious threat to this subpopulation. Although there is no documented evidence of damage to the Mt. Olympus location, it is highly likely that there will be a degree of habitat degradation as a result of high visitor numbers; the summit of the mountain is easily accessible by vehicle. The population on Ulu Dagh, although reasonably safe at present, could suffer if tourist development (ski resort, roads and lifts) would expand below the tree line in future. Infestation with Dwarf mistletoes (Arceuthobium oxycedri, Loranthaceae) has been observed in the fir forest on this mountain during a visit in 2004.

Important forestry tree and valued for its light, non-resinous wood; it is widely planted in the Black Sea Area. There is a 84.5 ha seed stand for the species established by Turkish Forest Trees and Seed Improvement Research Directorate (FTSIRD) for high quality seed regeneration programmes.

The smaller locations are afforded protection in the Kazdagi National Park and the Ulu-Dagh National Park. It is included in the priority species list to be conserved in the National Plan for in-situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Diversity in Turkey. Gene Management Zones (GMZ) have been established for Abies equi-trojani.



Abies equi-trojani ‘Akseki’   
Abies equi-trojani ‘Irmasan’



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeABIBMSJ591
Weight1.5 kg
Height20 - 25 cm

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