Plant DetailShow Menu

Picea glauca 'Conica' is often confused with:
Araucaria heterophylla Araucaria heterophylla
Picea abies Norway Spruce cones (Picea_abies)
Picea pungens Form
Native alternative(s) for Picea glauca 'Conica':
Thuja occidentalis Thuja occidentalis
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Cephalotaxus harringtonia Growth habit
Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii' Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana'
Picea glauca 'Conica' has some common insect problems:
Twospotted Spider Mites on Landscape Plants
Southern Red Mite and Spruce Spider Mite

Picea glauca 'Conica'

Phonetic Spelling
PY-see-uh GL-ow-kah KON-ih-ka
Description

The Dwarf White Spruce 'Conica' is a cultivar and is a small to medium-sized conifer evergreen dwarf shrub. This shrub is dense, compact, cone-shaped, grows 3 to 4 feet tall, and 1.5 feet wide after 10 years. After several decades, it will measure 10 to 13 feet tall and about 7 to 10 feet wide. It is grown for its soft, bright, green foliage and performs best in a cool environment.  The optimum setting is cold winters, cool summers, and good air circulation. The needles are bright, light green, and dense and encircle the stem. The needles, which are fragrant when crushed, have a white waxy coating. This cultivar rarely produces cones and is non-flowering. 

This natural dwarf was discovered in the wild in Alberta, Canada in 1904 by J.G. Jack and Alfred Rehder. Several other cultivars were derived from the 'Conica.' 

The genus name, Picea, is thought to be derived from the Latin word "pix" which means "pitch." This refers to the bark of this species that is sticky and resinous. The specific epithet, glauca, means "covered with a waxy bloom'' and refers to the white, waxy coating on the foliage. The cultivar name, 'Conica,' references this plant's tight, conical or pyramidal habit. 

The Dwarf White Spruce prefers moist, well-drained, loam, acidic to neutral soils in full sun. It is tolerant of wet sites, wind, heat, cold, drought, and partial shade. This plant needs to be protected from strong winds. It may be planted in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 6. It will not perform at its best in areas of high heat and humidity and is intolerant of air pollutants and salt spray. When planted in an area or location where airflow does not dry the plant, repeated infestations of mites can occur and will damage the plant.  These repeated infestations will lead to stem and needle death, making the plant unsightly. This plant can revert to its species form. If a prominent shoot with thicker stems and larger foliage appears, it should be pruned from the shrub. 

This cultivar can be grown as a container plant, or pruned to form an artistic topiary.  It also makes an excellent Christmas tree. It can be utilized in planters, in pairs by a porch entrance, along driveways or walk intersections, and in the center of beds. It has a distinctive form with its conical shape and a formal look. It is slow growing and will struggle to grow in the southeastern United States. 

Seasons of Interest:

Foliage: Year-round

Quick ID Hints:

  • Small cone-shaped gymnosperm shrub
  • Leaves are short, sword-shaped, and light green

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Although there are no serious problems with this plant, needle and stem rust, canker, trunk rot, and root rot may occur.  Some areas may experience yellow-headed spruce sawflies, European sawflies, mites, spruce bagworms, budworms, and eastern spruce beetle. Repeated mite infestations can cause serious harm to the plant. 

 

 

More information on Picea glauca.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Lush Foundation Planting Patio Room Mountain Ridge Top Garden - North Lawn and Upper Drive Border Mountain Ridge Top Garden - East Lawn and Lower Drive Border Mountain Ridge Top Garden - North Woods Deck Garden Mountain Ridge Top Garden - North Woods
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Elegans Compacta'
  • 'Laurin'
'Elegans Compacta', 'Laurin'
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#specimen#shrub#slow growing#conifer#fragrant leaves#winter interest#dwarf#accent plant#topiary#cpp#needled evergreen#deer resistant#foundation planting#frost tolerant#fantz#evergreen shrub#partial shade tolerant#heat intolerant#humidity intolerant#salt spray intolerant#container plant#cultivar#urban conditions intolerant#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Elegans Compacta'
  • 'Laurin'
'Elegans Compacta', 'Laurin'
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#specimen#shrub#slow growing#conifer#fragrant leaves#winter interest#dwarf#accent plant#topiary#cpp#needled evergreen#deer resistant#foundation planting#frost tolerant#fantz#evergreen shrub#partial shade tolerant#heat intolerant#humidity intolerant#salt spray intolerant#container plant#cultivar#urban conditions intolerant#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Picea
    Species:
    glauca
    Family:
    Pinaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Wildlife Value:
    Bird-friendly
    Play Value:
    Screening
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 13 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Dense
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 6a, 6b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Very small cones are rarely produced.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    Non-flowering
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Soft, thin, bright, light green needles that are 0.5 inches long, densely set, and aromatic when crushed. The shrub is densely set, and erect with flexible branches. Leaves are alternate, saber-like, and positioned radially around twigs. The needles have 2 to 5 stomal bands per lateral side. With maturity, the needles become bluish-green.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Bark Description:
    The trunk is hidden by foliage, but it appears as thin brownish-gray scales at maturity.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems are light brown and thin.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Foundation Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Wet Soil
    Wind