Picea abies (Norway Spruce)
|Also known as:|
|Life cycle:||perennial woody|
|Habitat:||sun; human landscapes|
|Plant height:||45 to 60 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Male and female flowers are cone like structures called strobili, both borne on the same tree at or near the tips of one year old branches. Females are erect, reddish brown, about ¼ inch long. Males are yellowish brown and clustered in large groups.
Leaves and bark:
Leaves are needle-like, dark green and shiny, single in a close spiral up the branch, ½ to 1 inch long, four-angled but slightly flattened in cross section, the tip tapered to a sharp point but not sharp to the touch. The needles typically persist 4 to 5 years.
In its native Europe, Norway Spruce is widespread and dominant in boreal conifer forests. It has long been planted in urban and rural landscapes throughout the Great Lakes Region and through the mid-Atlantic up into New England. A large and graceful tree, it has few insect or disease problems. For all its use in cultivation there are few documented occurrences of it naturalizing in Minnesota. Most frequently encountered in urban landscapes, it is most readily identified by its long pendulous branchlets hanging from broad, upswept lateral branches and by its very large cones.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka, Ramsey and Washington counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?