Picea pungens

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 Picea pungens subsp. var.  Colorado Blue Spruce, Blue Spruce
Foliage and young cones
Habit: tree
Height: to
Width: to
Height: 30 ft to 60 ft
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Lifespan: perennial
Exposure: sun
Water: moist, moderate
Features: evergreen, foliage
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 3 to 7.5
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Pinaceae > Picea pungens var. ,

Picea pungens (Colorado Blue Spruce or Blue Spruce) is a species of spruce native to western North America, from southeast Idaho and southwest Wyoming, south through Utah and Colorado to Arizona and New Mexico. It grows at high altitudes from 1750 - 3000 m altitude, though unlike Engelmann Spruce in the same area, it does not reach the alpine tree-line. It is most commonly found growing along stream sides in mountain valleys, where moisture levels in the soil are greater than the often low rainfall in the area would suggest.[1][2][3]

Blue spruce is a medium-sized evergreen tree growing to 25 – 30 m tall, exceptionally to 46 m tall, and with a trunk diameter of up to 1.5 m . The bark is thin and gray, with narrow vertical furrows. The crown is conic in young trees, becoming cylindric in older trees. The shoots are stout, orange-brown, usually glabrous, and with prominent pulvini.

The leaves are needle-like, 15 – 30 mm long, stout, rhombic in cross-section, dull gray-green to bright glaucous blue (very variable from tree to tree in wild populations), with several lines of stomata; the tip is viciously sharp.[1][2][4]

The cones are pendulous, slender cylindrical, 6 – 11 cm long and 2 cm broad when closed, opening to 4 cm broad. They have thin, flexible scales 20 – 24 mm long, with a wavy margin. They are reddish to violet, maturing pale brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 3 – 4 mm long, with a slender, 10 – 13 mm long pale brown wing.[1][2]

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Picea pungens, Engelm. (P. Parryana, Sarg. Abies Menziesii, Engelm., not Lindl.). Colorado Spruce. Tree, 80-100, or occasionally to 150 ft., with horizontal stout branches in rather remote whorls, forming a broad, regular pyramid: winter buds with brownish yellow usually reflexed scales: young branches glabrous, bright yellowish brown: lvs. rigid, incurved, spiny -acuminate, bluish green to silvery white or rarely dull green, 3/4 - 1 1/5 in long with 2 resin canals: cones cylindric oblong, light brown and glossy, 2 1/2 - 4 in. long; scales rhomboidal, narrowed and erose at the apex. Wyo. to Colo, and Utah. A very handsome and very hardy tree of symmetrical habit, with light, sometimes almost silvery white foliage. According to the different shades of color of the foliage, the following varieties are distinguished: Var. glauca, Beissn. With bluish green lvs. Var. caerulea, Beissn. With bluish white foliage. Var. argentea, Beissn. With silvery white foliage. Var. Kosteri, Beissn. With silvery white foliage and of very regular pyramidal habit. Var. glauca pendula, Beissn. With bluish foliage and pendulous branches. Var. viridis, Regel (P. commutata, Hort.). is the form with green lvs. Var. compacta, Rehd. A dwarf compact form; originated at the Arnold Arboretum. Var. aurea, Niemetz. With golden yellow foliage. Var. flavescens, Niemetz. With whitish yellow foliage. Var. Moerheimii, Rujis. Grows more compact and foliage deeper blue. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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