One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The Spanish fir, Abies pinsapo, native to mountainous regions of south-west Spain and Morocco, which is characterized by short, radially arranged needles.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Gardener's Magazine. From Spanish pinsapo from pino + the pre-Romance base of Old French sap a kind of fir (related to Old French, Middle French, French sapin, classical Latin sappīnus).
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