Abies alba Mill. - Pinaceae - (European) silver fir, Weißtanne, Silbertanne
Evergreen coniferous tree, up to 50m high, native to Central and South Europe, cultivated there; bark gray, with resin blisters; leaves needle-like, apex notched or rounded, upperside dark green, lowerside glaucous to whitish-green; pollen cones blue/violet/red, 1-3cm long, seed cones green when young, turning red-brown, up to 16cm long.
„The analyses were performed on the commercial essential oil of Abies alba obtained from fresh green summits of young branches by steam distillation. The plant material was collected from the teritory of Montenegro. The composition of the oil was determined by GC and GC/MS. The main constituents were β-pinene (32.8%), α-pinene (17.3%), camphene (16.7%), bornyl acetate (9.0%), limonene (6.1%) and β-phellandrene (4.9%).“
[Essential oil of Abies alba Mill., Pinaceae, from the pilot production in Montenegro., Chalchat, J.C., Sidibé, L., Maksimovic, Z.A., Petrovic, S.D., Gorunovic, M.S., Journal of Essential Oil Research, Vol.13(4), 2001, 288-289]
„This study investigates the isoprene and monoterpenes emission from A. alba in France… A dynamic cuvette method was used. Limonene was the predominant monoterpene emitted, followed by camphene, α-pinene and eucalyptol. No isoprene emission was detected… The standard emission rate (303 K) and β-coefficient averaged for limonene, camphene and α-pinene were respectively of 0.63 μg gdw-1 h-1 and 0.06 K-1. For eucalyptol, the standard emission rate (T=303 K and PAR=1000 μmol m-2 s-1) was 0.26 μg gdw-1 h-1. This classified A. alba as a weak monoterpenes emitter.“
[Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emissions from Abies alba in a French forest., Moukhtar, S., Couret, C., Rouil, L., Simon, V., Science of the total environment, Vol.354(2), 2006, 232-245]
Needles of Abies alba contain glycosidically bound maltol, which is cleaved during the drying of the needles on the forest floor, contributing to the characteristic note present in European (fir) forests warmed by the sun.
[Meaningful Scents around the World, R.Kaiser, 2006, 190]
„The composition of the essential oil of twigs of individual trees of Abies alba Miller from Corsica was investigated by CC, GC (RI), GC-MS and 13C-NMR. Among the 65 identified compounds, limonene, β-phellandrene, α-pinene, camphene and β-pinene were found to be the major components. Fifty-three oil samples were analysed and the results were submitted to chemometric analysis (K-means clustering and principal component analysis). Two groups were distinguished within the essential oils. Samples belonging to the first group (64% of the samples) were characterized by a very high content of limonene (mean value 46.1%). Conversely, the mean composition of the samples of the second group (36% of the samples) was dominated by camphene, α-pinene and limonene. Such a chemical composition is reported for the first time within A. alba essential oils.“
[Composition and chemical variability of the twig oil of Abies alba Miller from Corsica., Duquesnoy, E., Castola, V., Casanova, J., Flavour and fragrance journal, Vol.22(4), 2007, 293-299]
A bornyl acetate (30.3%) rich essential oil of A.alba (Korea, steam distillation from leaf and twig) was reported with major components camphene (19.8%), 3-carene (13.8%), and tricyclene (12.9%). Further constituents were dl-limonene (7.5%), α-pinene (2.8%), caryophyllene (2.1%), β-phellandrene (2.1%), borneol (1.7%), bicyclo[2.2.1]hept-2-ene,2,3-dimethyl (1.6%) and α-terpinene (1.2%).
[Radical scavenging activity of the essential oil of silver fir (Abies alba)., Yang, S.A., Jeon, S.K., Lee, E.J., Im, N.K., Jhee, K.H., Lee, S.P., Lee, I.S., Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 44(3), 2009, 253]
Thomé, O.W., Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz, Tafeln, vol. 1: t. 24 (1885)
© Rolf Marschner (2011), www.botanische-spaziergaenge.at