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PICEA orientalis

Image of Picea orientalis

Russell Stafford

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

PICEA orientalis

Plant Common Name

Caucasian Spruce, Oriental Spruce

General Description

Many consider this one of the loveliest of all spruces. Oriental spruce is a hardy coniferous evergreen that originates from the temperate regions across Asia Minor. It has a neat pyramidal habit and reaches a moderate to large size when mature, though it is quite slow growing.

It has short, glossy, dark green needles that are four-angled and densely packed along the stem. In spring, new candles of growth appear that are medium green and tender until they toughen up. The dense branches cover the tree from top to bottom and may be horizontal, slightly ascending or slightly drooping. It has male and female cones that appear in spring and persist until mature. The small male cones are initially oxblood red and later turn to brown. The larger pendulous female cones are elongated and turn from deep purple-red to brown. Its dark brown exfoliating bark is attractive but usually masked by the dense branches.

Oriental spruce requires full sun and is tolerant of a wide range of well-drained soils. It can even tolerate poor soils and periods of drought. This tree is sensitive to high winds, so be sure to plant it in moderately protected sites.

There are many cultivars to choose from with varying habits, heights and needle colors. Plant this beautiful spruce as a feature plant or as a large screen tree.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Dark Red, Plum, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Chocolate

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No