With their very geometrical, almost conical silhouettes, firs are among the most majestic and elegant of conifers. Widely present in woods and forests, some species play a key role as ornamental or landscaping plants in parks and large gardens, or in public or private green spaces. This is owing to their habit and colour of needles, as well as the vivacity of their flowers in spring (the male ones always separate from the female, on the same plant) and the beauty of their very showy cones, always erect (while Picea ones droop). Originating from the temperate regions of Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America, firs (with a few exceptions) grow better in fairly damp climates and in deep, humus-rich soils. They grow moderately in soft, light soil, which is better for pines.