Blue Spruce: Species and Varieties

Today it will be about the blue Christmas trees, which are so popular with modern gardeners.

Pro rest -, too, gay-relatives ate talk in next time. So, blue spruce.

Why are they blue?

Usually they are green, but some types of fir trees have blue forms, occasionally found in nature. They are particularly welcome in ornamental horticulture. And some types of fir can boast a bluish color as a characteristic feature. This shade gives the needles an excess layer of wax, always covering it in varying degrees. In some cases, this feature is due to light stripes – places of accumulation of stomata (holes for breathing), which stretch along the needles.

Blue Spruce: Species and Varieties

What color is considered blue-a personal matter. In the Botanical descriptions are of the form:

  • glauca-grey,
  • coerulea-blue,
  • argentea-silver.

But there are no clear boundaries between them. Most varieties of fir trees, which we call blue or even silver — derived from forms, called in Latin “glauca”.

Signs of spruce (Picea)

The needles are four-sided or flat with the keel sitting on the dais (a fold of cortex) and for some reason flipped upside down. The cone is hanging, Matures in autumn and, revealing the scales, pours out its treasures. Bark brownish-gray, quite smooth, thin, cracking into pieces, it oozes resin.

Blue Spruce: Species and Varieties

Picea pungens

Picea pungens is really prickly. Its branches bristle with hard pointed needles 2-3 cm long. The cone is the same shape as the usual spruce, but slightly smaller, and its scales are lighter, thinner and wavy. Inhabits the Western States of the USA – Colorado and Wyoming.

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In General, this spruce is the most common in urban landscaping. Squares, boulevards of many cities (especially ceremonial, at government agencies) are decorated with slender rows of blue pyramids. The dominance of these pure-blooded Americans in strategically important places is not an ideological sabotage. Their mission is extremely humane. The fact is that the prickly spruce is very resistant to urban conditions: gas contamination, pollution and soil compaction, and to whom as it is to entrust such dangerous for coniferous tasks as landscaping streets and squares.

Blue Spruce: Species and Varieties

Blue spruce introduced into cultivation in 1862, and since then, the nurseries of different countries have been breeding a geometrically correct and hardy varieties-pyramids for urban greening and selection of all sorts of curiosities for private owners. Special attention is paid to the blue form.

From more or less large “urban” varieties can be called ‘Hoto’, which is well cut; ‘Hoopsii’ – very blue, but bad cut; popular – ‘Koster’. Other varieties of this group- ‘Oldenburg’, ‘Omega’, ‘Moerheimii’, ‘Snowkist’, ‘Thomsen’.

Blue Spruce: Species and Varieties

From the original low forms we often sold ‘Glauca Globosa’ – “slow” variety flattened form. The other reason is more rare, although they displayed a variety of. Among them: ‘Montgomery’ – with a crown shape in the form of a regular hemisphere with a Central leader;‘Gloria’,’ Jean Iseli’, ‘ St. Mary’, ‘Thume’ – with a shapeless crown; ‘Furst Bismarck’ – with outstretched branches and strongly blue needles; ‘Glauca Prostrata’ – with an outstretched crown in the form of a wave; ‘Glauca Procumbens’ – with a creeping crown; ‘Glauca Pendula’ – with irregular hanging branches; ‘Blue Totem’ and ‘Iseli Fastigiate’ – with branches sticking up, forming a narrow as the tongue of flame, crown; ‘Copeland’ – with a weak, crooked as the wind beaten, crown-pyramid; ‘Fat Albert’ – strongly prickly, snooty variety with good growth.

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Picea engelmannii

Picea engelmannii similar to his countryman spruce prickly. Different pubescent young shoots, softer needles and small cones. Despite its wide natural area, it is cultivated much less frequently and has few decorative forms. It is an industrial wood for wood and resin. Still sometimes grown, and her blue uniform.

Picea glauca

Dense crown, bluish leaves and a small (3.5-5 cm) cone with thin wavy rounded scales immediately distinguish it from spruce. Has in nature as bluish-green and blue forms.

Blue Spruce: Species and Varieties

A large spread of its dwarf varieties. ‘Alberta Blue’ – mutation of a known variety ‘Conica’. ‘Arneson’s Blue Variegated’ is the same, but pogolubelo only separate branches, is prone to reverse. ‘Blue Wonder’ and ‘Sanders Blue’ are small pyramids. ‘Blue Planet’ – a dense ball with protruding branches, simply put, hedgehog. ‘Coerulea’ – a silvery, slow-growing variety, but the shape — tree tree. In these varieties, the blue shade is expressed most strongly, but many others have it to some extent as a species characteristic, i.e. characteristic of this spruce from nature.

Picea mariana

Picea mariana from Canada and North USA. Very slender tree with thin hanging branches and the wrong crown. The needles are dull, dark, with a bluish tint, light stomatal stripes are especially wide on the top (facing the line) side. Cones are very small (up to 3.5 cm), dark purple to maturity. Dense dwarf varieties with perfectly short branches have exaggerated blue hue due to stomatal bands, clearly visible on the protruding short needles: ‘Beissneri’, ‘Doumettii’, ‘Ericoides’, finally, ‘Nana’ – an old variety that includes more than one clone.

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Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis is found in Western North America. Long (up to 2.5 cm) very barbed needles are tapered. They silver from stomatal strips, but better visible shiny bright green underside. Grow pretty dwarf varieties – witches broom with tousled needles: ‘Nana’, ‘Papoose’, ‘Renken’, ‘Siberzwerg’, ‘Strypemonde’.

Blue Spruce: Species and Varieties

Picea omorica

Picea omorica, which lives in the mountains of Yugoslavia, dressed in flat needles of the same color – “day-and-night”, but it is not so prickly and shorter. Narrow dense spruce, beautiful in itself, has many dwarf varieties – pyramids and balls. Interesting, for example, shimmering ‘Treblitzsch’, which shows both sides of the needles: and silver and green.

Blue Spruce: Species and Varieties

Picea obovata

Picea obovata at close examination is similar to the usual Christmas tree Picea abies. You’ll be inconspicuous pubescence of young shoots and smooth, not scalloped scales. But, as the poet said, face – to-face person can not see. These trees vary well in the distance.

Crossing it from West to East, you can see how wide, dilapidated triangles of ordinary spruce are gradually replaced by narrow, taut peaks of Siberian spruce.

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