The Colorado Blue spruce (Picea pungens glauca) , is a variety of the Colorado Spruce, is a medium to large, narrow, pyramidal conifer with horizontal branching to the ground. The foliage can vary from green to bright powder blue which can be attributed to a thicker-than-normal waxy coating on the true-green needles, refracting sunlight and reflecting it back to the human eye in a blue wave length. Genus names derived from Latin pix meaning “pitch” in reference to the sticky resin typically found in spruce bark. The specific epithet means “sharp-pointed” in reference to the stiff needles. Notably ‘Glauca’ is a natural variant of the Colorado Spruce; the glaucous character of the leaves given them a bluish tinge.
Marquand Park Specimen Label and Coordinates: MP #660.
Common name: Colorado Blue Spruce
Scientific Name (family and order): Picea pugens “Glauca” (Pinaceae, Pinales)
Species Origin: Western USA
New Jersey Status: USDA Unreported
Habit: 80 – 115’ tall; bole 1 ½ – 3’ diameter. Symmetrical pyramidal shape.
Habitat: Zones 2 – 7. High mountains on dry slopes and stream banks.
Trunk/Stem: Bark puple-gray scaly. Branches slightly to strongly drooping. Twigs usually hairless (compared to Engelmann Spruce).
Leaves: Evergreen, needle-like. Four sided very rigid, very prickly needles, 1 ¾” long, spine tipped, gray-green to blue–gray growing on pale brown shoots. The needles point outward from the branches in all directions. Often blue tint to foliage due to waxes on the needle surface.
Fruits and seeds: Cone hanging, pale-brown 2 ½ – 4 1/2 ” long, ovoid to cylindrical, slightly curved. Scale tips narrow, acute, wavy