Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Picea pungens

Blue spruce, Colorado spruce

Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Picea pungens (Blue spruce)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Naturally conical in shape, the stiff, unbending branches of blue spruce grow outward in a dense pattern creating a formal outline. The tree can become open and poorly-shaped in maturity. Needles are 1/2 - 1 1/4 in., stiff, and vary from green to silver-blue. New growth is light blue. In the wild, blue spruce grows from 50-100 ft., but it is usually shorter in cultivation.

Cultivated varieties of Blue Spruce include several with dramatic bluish-white and silvery-white foliage. It is a popular Christmas tree and is also used in shelterbelts.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 72-100 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AZ , CO , ID , ME , MD , MA , NM , NY , PA , UT , WY
Native Distribution: Mts. of w. WY & e. ID, s. to AZ & NM
Native Habitat: Mountain conifer forests

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Due to its naturally symetrical form, pruning is seldom necessary and maintenance is minimal. More drought-tolerant than other Picea spp. Subject to spruce gall aphid and other pests.

Last Update: 2008-04-01