Norway Spruce - Picea abies


    It is a large evergreen coniferous tree growing to between 115 and180 feet tall. The shoots are orange-brown and hairless and the leaves are needle-like, 12 to 24 mm long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous lines. The cones are 9 to17 cm long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish, maturing brown 5 to 7 months after pollination.

    Similar Species

    Sitka Spruce, and other ornamental Picea that may be planted in parks and gardens.  Similar to other Pinaceae species with needles borne singly, but Picea have needles on brown petiole-like pegs

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Leaves 4-angled in x-section, with faint whitish stripes; cones 10-20cm

    Recording advice

    Photos of cones and details of needles 


    Often planted, but does sometime regenerate in the wild.

    When to see it

    All year round.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Fairly widespread in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 64 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map