29 South of Spain & North of Morocco, Strait of Gibraltar

Southern Spain and Northern Morocco have some special tree species in common, an indication that the regions on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar were once bridged by land. A typical example is the Spanish or Pinsapo fir, which was discovered in the 19th century in small relict populations in the remote Sierranía de Ronda region of Andalusia. Less than a century later, larger and more beautiful populations were recognized in the Rif Mountains of Morocco. The Spanish fir likes to grow alongside Maritime pine, Aleppo pine, Cork oak, Portuguese oak and Holm oak. The old specimen in Group 29A is a Vilmorin fir, a cross between the Spanish and the Greek silver fir. She might well be a world champion in size. Compared to the pubescent original Pinsapos around her, she clearly shows that hybrids like her often grow faster and larger than the parent strains. Across the path are Spanish fir trees of Moroccan origin, and here the subspecies “marocana” and “tazaotana” are on display, the latter named after the mountain Jebel Tasaot in the Rif range. They grow in the company of Atlas cedars there, which are still missing in Group 29B, although they are not far away.