The leaves are needle-like, flattened, 1.8–3 cm long and 2 mm wide by 0.5 mm thick, glossy dark green above, and with two greenish-white bands of stomata below. The tip of the leaf is usually slightly notched at the tip. The cones are 9–17 cm long and 3–4 cm broad, with about 150-200 scales, each scale with an exserted bract and two winged seeds; they disintegrate when mature to release the seeds.
Silver Fir is the species first used as a Christmas tree, but has been largely replaced by Nordmann Fir (which has denser, more attractive foliage), Norway Spruce (which is much cheaper to grow), and other species. The wood is moderately soft and white, used for general construction and paper manufacture.