logo

Picea abies - Norway Spruce

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Pinopsida - Order: Pinales - Family: Pinaceae

Spruce trees

This well-known evergreen is better known as the Christmas Tree; it was introduced from mainland Europe into Britain.

Needles of a Norway Spruce

Above: Norway Spruce needles

Young female spruce cones

Above: young female cones are elongated

Male cone of Picea abies

Above: the male cone of a Norway Spruce is more nearly spherical

Spruce leaves (needles) are dark green, four-sided and pointed.

Mature Spruce cones

The mature female (seed-bearing) cones of Norway Spruce, often 12 to 15 cm long, are stalkless and they are shed intact.

Bark of a Norway Spruce

Spruce bark is fairly easy to recognise... at least, after a bit of practice.

Picea sitchensis, the Sitka Spruce, was introduced into Britain from North America in 1831 and is now widely planted here. It is a taller tree and has much shorter cones.