Northwest Conifers

Blue Spruce  – Picea pungens


You can easily identify blue spruce by the distinctive blue needles. The blue color has, no doubt, made this tree one of the most popular ornamental trees. Although the color is variable from gray-green to blue, the ornamentals are nearly always selected for the blue coloring. Like other spruces, the needles stand on small pegs.

Where it grows: Throughout the central and southern Rocky Mountains, above 5700 feet (2000 meters) but not at the timberline. It is the state tree of Colorado and Utah.

Blue spruce at Hoyt Arboretum.

Similar Trees: Engelmann spruce is similar, but lacks the blue color of blue spruce. Although it is not common, Engelmann spruce can hybridize with blue spruce.

Names: Pungens means "sharp" or "pointed" in Latin. Other names: Colorado blue spruce.




Needles on pegs


© 2012 Ken Denniston