T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Picea abies "Aurea Magnifica" (Golden spruce)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Picea
Species: P. abies
Binomial name: Picea abies
Synonyms: P. excelsa, P. abies, P. Rubra, P. vulgaris, P. montana
P. abies var. europaea
Common name: Norway spruce, European Spruce.

Picea abies is a species of spruce native to N, C & E Europe outside permafrost areas south to N Greece and W to the Massif Central, France; south of 47° N latitude only in mountains above 400–500 m; and ascends to 2200 m in the Balkans.
It is a large, fast-growing evergreen coniferous tree growing to 35-55 m tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 1-1.5 m. The shoots are orange-brown and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like, 12–24 mm long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous stomatal lines. 
The cones are 9–17 cm long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish, maturing brown 5–7 months after pollination.  The seeds are black, 4–5 mm long, with a pale brown 15 mm wing.

Picea Abies "Aurea Magnifica" is a hardy sun needing clone selected for the deep gold needles that emerge green but intensify to a deep gold as winter cold takes hold. It is a pyramidal shaped tree with horizontal branches that touch the ground. It is not a fast grower as it grows about 15-30 cm a year and can be 1.8m tall and 1m wide in ten years.
Its flowers are pink, 5 cm long and wide, emerging at the end of branches in summer and are similar to Picea abies.
Its common names are Golden Norway Spruce, Golden European Spruce. Golden spruce.

Photograpged at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
 

The drooping branches.
 

 

Golden spruces shoot and buds.
 

The bark.