Picea glauca var. densata ( syn. Picea glauca 'Densata') Pinaceae
Black Hills Spruce PI-see-a GLAW-ka den-SA-ta
- Conifer, evergreen tree, 20-40 ft (6-12 m), symmetrical, compact, slow growing, . Needles may range from bright green to bluish green. Trees sometimes similar to P. glauca.
- Sun, light shade. Tough, withstands wind, heat, cold, drought, and crowding; can be used as hedge.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 2 Native to the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota. The South Dakota State Tree.
- It was originally named Picea glauca var. densata Bailey, but many authorities now
designate it as cultivar, i.e., Picea glauca ‘Densata’, because its differences from the species are
are not sufficient to justify its classification as a botanical variety. In its small native
habitat, the Black Hills area of South Dakota, it is commonly found growing at around 6000 ft (1830 m) in elevation.
It typically grows rather slowly in a dense, symmetrical cone to 20-25(~6-7.5 m) tall, but over
time may rise to 40-60 ft (14.5-18 m) or more. It is distinguished from the species by having
(1) smaller size with slower growth rate,
(2) denser habit,
(3) brighter green to blue-green needles and
(4) slightly shorter cones.
By reputation in the horticulture industry, Black Hills spruce is a superior ornamental tree to the
species (Missouri Botanical Garden).
- densata: compact, dense.