Norway Spruce
(Picea abies)
Sharp, single


distribution map

The leaves are needle-like, light green and 4-sided with no conspicuous pale lines beneath.  
They are 10-20 mm long, with a short, horny point. The leaves are arranged all round the shoots and attached by short stalks, which remains as pegs when the leaves fall.

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Norway Spruce is an introduced, evergreen, coniferous tree which grows up to 40 m in height. It is conical in shape with upper branches ascending, but lower branches level or drooping. It has a smooth bark and is widely planted, but rarely self-sown.

Male and female flowers are in separate clusters on the same tree(monoecious) and appear in May and June.

Pink female flowers are arranged in pairs of inflorescences which develop into cones. The male inflorescences are yellow and grouped at the ends of shoots.

Woody cylindrical cones are 10-15 cm long and hang downwards. (They are pendulous).


  • The timber is of good quality and is used for building, pit-props, packing cases and boxes.

  • The wood is sometimes known as 'violin wood', because of its value for making the sounding boards (fronts) of violins.

  • A native of Northern Europe extending south and east to the Balkans, it was introduced into Britain in the 16th century

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