Picea engelmannii
Common name: 
Engelmann Spruce
PI-see-a en-gel-MAN-e-i
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Conifer, evergreen tree, 80-100 ft (24-30 m) tall, dense, narrow conical crown.  Bark gray-brown to russet-red, small scales loosely attached.  Needles linear, slender, about 2.5 cm long, sharp to the touch, tend to point forward, 4-angled in cross section (rolls easily between the fingers), bluish-green to even steel-blue (especially the underside), a rank odor when crushed (not everyone can detect this).  Seed cones are 2.5-6 cm long, cylindrical, shiny light-brown, scales long, thin and flexible; male cones purplish.
  • Sun.  Best on moist, well-drained soil
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 2     Native range from central British Columbia and southwest Alberta, southward through the Cascades (at 3,000 to 10,000 ft) of Washington and Oregon and into extreme northern California, eastward to the Rocky Mountains from central Montana to southern New Mexico.
  • Note:  There are three spruce (Picea) species native to Oregon, namely:
    • Sitka spruce (P. sitchensis)  -  found mostly in moist, well-drained sites along the Pacific Coast, seldom more than tens of miles from the ocean.
    • Brewer spruce (P. brewerana)  -  native to a relatively limited area; the steep slopes of the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon and northern California.
    • Engelmann spruce (P. engelmannii)  -  ordinarily grows in mountains above 4,000 ft, often in cold wet environments.  Therefore, it is not found in the Coast Range of Oregon and Washington.
  • Some selections of Engelmann Spruce available in the nursery trade:
    • 'Bushs Lace'  -  weeping habit, bluish-gray color, 6 × 4 ft (1.8 × 1.2 m) in 10 years.
    • 'Compacta'  -  dwarf, conical upright habit, blue-green color.
    • 'Missy'  -  very dwarf, blue, 1 × 1 ft (0.3 × 0.3 m) in 10 years.
    • 'Vanderwolf's Blue Pyramid'  (Vanderwolf's Blue')  -  gray-blue, dense, upright, 7 × 4 ft (2.1 × 1.2 m) in 10 years. "It had been sold as P. englemannii 'Glauca' until 1971". (Jacobson, 1969, p.430).
  • engelmannii: named after George Engelmann (1809-1884), a German-born physician and botanist in St. Louis and an authority on conifers.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: SE Peavy Hall, near sidewalk.


Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, in habitat

    plant habit, in habitat

  • plant habit, in habitat

    plant habit, in habitat

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • branch, foliage

    branch, foliage

  • branchlets


  • branchlets, from different plants

    branchlets, from different plants

  • branchlet


  • needles


  • branchlet comparison

    branchlet comparison

  • bud expansion, late spring

    bud expansion, late spring

  • needles


  • stems


  • immature cones

    immature cones

  • developing cones

    developing cones

  • maturing cones and needles

    maturing cones and needles

  • needles and mature cone

    needles and mature cone

  • mature cone

    mature cone

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark