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Abies (fir; family Pinaceae) A genus of coniferous trees in which the leaves are crowded on the twigs, often approximately in 2 rows; they are needle-like and single, leaving a round, flat scar when they fall, thus producing a smooth twig. The female cones are borne erect; they shatter at maturity, but the woody axis persists. Many fine ornamental species are now widely cultivated for their lofty, deeply pyramidal, monopodial crowns; but they require a moist climate and are sensitive to atmospheric pollution. There are 40–50 species, widespread throughout the northern hemisphere, especially on mountains.