Picea pungens var. glauca (syn. Picea pungens f. glauca) Pinaceae
Colorado Blue Spruce PI-see-a PUN-jenz GLAW-ka
- Conifer, evergreen tree, 30-60(135) ft [9-18(41) m] tall, dense, narrow to broad pyramid, stiff horizontal branches to the ground, formal in outline. Needles spreading more or less all around the stem, more crowded above, stiff, stout, very prickly, 2-3 cm long, 4-sided, stomatic lines on each side, acid taste when chewed. Foliage some variation of bluish-green. Cones cylindrical, 5-10 long.
- Sun. Prefers rich, moist soil, but very adaptable. More drought tolerant than other spruces.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native to the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Wyoming to New Mexico.
- The color of the species, Picea pungens, varies from drab green to bright silvery-blue. The silvery-blue forms, Picea pungens var. glauca, are essentially
the only ones selected for the ornamentals nursery trade. Many cultivars have been selected from
this general form and are propagated by grafting. The Knap Hill nursery in Surrey, England, raised the first ones from cuttings in 1877 (Jacobson, 1996).
- pungens: sharp pointed; glauca: glaucous (covered with a waxy bloom).
- Oregon State Univ. campus: southeast Ag. & Life Sciences and southwest Gilbert (note upward sweeping brach habit of this clone).