Norway spruce (Picea abies)
The Norway spruce (Picea abies) is a mountain and subalpine species of resinous trees from the Pinaceae family. It has cones with scales that point downwards, which distinguishes it from the silver fir. The Norway spruce’s needles are always arranged around the stalk, like a brush. The species can mainly be found in the Alps, the Jura, the Massif Central, the Vosges or Corsica.On its branches, you may be lucky enough to see a black woodpecker, which has been made famous by the Marcantour Park ecoguide. It can often be heard with its characteristic cry. It is particularly fond of Norway spruces.
The silver fir (Albies alba) is one of the tallest trees in Europe. It can live for several hundred years and is present in the Alps, the Jura, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Vosges or in Corsica.
Its trunk is silvery-grey with needles which are characterised by two white lines and a sweet smell of lemon if you rub them with vigour. Its cones stand up on its branches, like candles on a Christmas tree.
If when you remove a needle no bark comes with it, this confirms that it is a silver fir (not to be confused with the spruce).Its leaves, bark resin and shoots are often used for pharmaceutical purposes.
In the past, the channel used to provide water to the terraces which are today standing fallow and the Barma ruins.Today, irrigation channels are a part of the Park’s agricultural heritage.
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