Abies pinsapo ‘Horstmann’

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Small in stature but big in impact, this conifer offers rich blue hues.

March 7, 2017

I have a great love of conifers.

They’re remarkable additions to almost any landscape with their assortment of colors – green, yellow, bronze and blue, for example. You can’t ask for more variety in terms of shapes, sizes and textures. But gardening in North Texas with our hotter-than-blazes summers, prevents me from planting some of my favorite selections.

If you’re looking to add a new conifer to your mix, consider Abies pinsapo ‘Horstmann.’ It was discovered in the mid-1970s by German nurseryman Gunther Horstmann as a witch's broom in a specimen of A. pinsapo ‘Glauca.’ This dwarf Spanish fir grows from 1 to 4 inches per year and matures at about 3 feet tall by 2 feet wide. The stiff blue needles completely cover the branches. It’s a low-growing spreader, but will likely produce a leader that allows it to grow into an upright specimen, according to Dragonfly Farms Nursery. The nursery also lists it as being “extremely tolerant of drought.” Perhaps there’s hope for my short list of conifers I can grow.

Why grow Abies pinsapo ‘Horstmann?’

Photo by Herman Geers Nursery, hgeers.nl
  • Appealing color, texture and form in one plant.
  • Drought tolerant, according to some sources.
  • High retail appeal, especially if used in a combination planter.