Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Picea abies
Norway Spruce
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Norway Spruce A large, cone-bearing tree with a straight trunk and pyramid-shaped crown of spreading branches, growing to an average height of 24 m.


Distinguishing Features - Needles: shiny dark green with whitish lines, 1.2-2.5 cm long; stiff, 4-angled, sharp-pointed; spreading on all sides of twig from very short leafstalks. Bark: reddish-brown, scaly. Twigs: reddish-brown, slender, drooping, mostly hairless, rough, with peglike bases. Cones: 10-15 cm long; cylindrical; light brown, hanging down; cone-scales numerous, thin, slightly pointed, irregularly toothed, opening and shedding year after maturing; paired long-winged seeds.


The common spruce of nortern Europe; native of Scandinavia and central Europe, at high altitudes; widely planted in southeastern Canada, northeastern United States, Rocky Mountains, and Pacific Coast region; prefers moist soils in humid, cool, temperate regions.


Norway Spruce is widely cultivated for ornament, shade, shelterbelts, Christmas trees, and forest plantations. The showy cones are the largest of the spruces.

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