Abstract: The literature on the wood anatomy of the genus Abies is reviewed and discussed, and complemented with a detailed study of 33 species, 1 subspecies and 4 varieties. In general, the species studied do not show diagnostic interspecific differences, although it is possible to establish differences between groups of species using the biometry and certain qualitative features. The marginal axial parenchyma consisting of single cells and the ray parenchyma cells with distinctly pitted horizontal walls, nodular end walls and presence of indentures are constant for the genus, although these features also occur in the other genera of the Abietoideae. The absence of ray tracheids in Abies can be used to distinguish it from Cedrus and Tsuga, and the irregularly shaped parenchymatous marginal ray cells are only shared with Cedrus. The absence of resin canals enables Abies to be distinguished from very closely related genera such as Keteleeria and Nothotsuga. The crystals in the ray cells, taxodioid cross-field pitting and the warty layer in the tracheids can be regarded as diagnostic generic features.