blue spruce Pinaceae Picea pungens Engelm. Listen to the Latin symbol: PIPU Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Evergreen needles, 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches long, stiff and very sharp (spine-like), displayed nearly straight out from twig, silvery blue to dark green. Strong acidic taste. Each needle borne on a raised, woody peg (sterigma).
Flower: Species is monoecious; males emerge reddish purple and ripen to yellow-brown, scattered throughout trees; females purple, upright, in tops of the trees.
Fruit: Cones are 2 to 4 inches long, cylindrical, light brown in color, scales are flexible, pointed with jagged erose margins, mature in the fall.
Twig: Stout (when compared to other spruces), hairless, tan; needles are borne on woody pegs; bud scales brown and noticeably reflexed.
Bark: Gray to red-brown, young trees with small, thin scales; older trees still scaly but with shallow furrows.
Form: A medium to large tree with pyramidal form reaching up to 80 feet tall. Branches appear layered, especially with age.

Looks like: Engelmann spruce - Norway spruce - white spruce - black spruce
leaf flower fruit twig bark form map
Additional Range Information:
Picea pungens is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting blue spruce.
External Links:
USDAFS Silvics of North America
USDAFS Additional Silvics
USDA Plants Database
Horticulture
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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