Picea pungens var. glauca
Colorado Blue Spruce
PI-see-a PUN-jenz GLAW-ka
Picea pungens f. glauca
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- 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. Their silver-blue color is attributed to the wax that covers the outer surface of the needles. 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).
A few of the many cultivars available"
- 'Baby Blueeyes' - tree, upright, semi-dwarf, broad pyramidal habit, blue-green needles, maintains blue color
- 'Fastigiata' - tree, upright, semi-dwarf, broad pyramidal habit, blue-green needles, maintains blue color
- 'Fat Albert' - tree, broadly pyramidal, "semi-dwarf", to 10-15 ft (3-4.5 m) tall, 10-12 ft (3-3.6 m) wide in 10 years,
- 'Glauca Prostrata' - shrub, dwarf, procumbent, blue-green needles
- 'Globosa' - dwarf tree/shrub, slow growing, mound-shaped, compact, densely branched, blue-green needles
- 'The Blues' - dwarf, weeping, stake to emphasize its weeping habit, needles powder blue
- pungens: sharp pointed; glauca: glaucous (covered with a waxy bloom).
- Oregon State Univ. campus: southwest Gilbert Hall (note upward sweeping brach habit of this clone).