Definitions

Caucasian Spruce

Caucasian Spruce

The Caucasian Spruce or Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis) is a spruce native to the Caucasus and adjacent northeast Turkey. It is a large evergreen tree growing to 30-45 m tall (exceptionally to 57 m), and with a trunk diameter of up to 1.5 m (exceptionally up to 4 m).

The shoots are buff-brown, and moderately pubescent (hairy). The leaves are needle-like, the shortest of any spruce, 6-8 mm long, rhombic in cross-section, dark green with inconspicuous stomatal lines. The cones are slender cylindric-conic, 5-9 cm long and 1.5 cm broad, red to purple when young, maturing dark brown 5-7 months after pollination, and have stiff, smoothly rounded scales.

Caucasian Spruce is a popular ornamental tree in large gardens, valued in northern Europe and the USA for its attractive foliage and ability to grow on a wide range of soils. It is also grown to a small extent in forestry for Christmas trees, timber and paper production, though its slower growth compared to Norway Spruce reduces its importance outside of its native range.

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