Picea abies was first described in 1881 by (Linnaeus) Hermann Karsten (1817 – 1908) is commonly known as Norway spruce; and as epicéa commun in the French language, épinette de Norvège in French Canadian, as gemeine fichte in German, and as jel europeiskaya in Russian. The species name reflects early confusion between the Spruces (Picea) and the Silver firs (Abies) before the generic concepts stabilized into their present form.
Description. Norway spruce is a large, fast-growing evergreen coniferous tree growing to heights of 115 to 180 feet (35 – 55 m) tall with a trunk up to 3 to 5 feet (1 – 1.5 m) in diameter, measured at breast height. It is fast growing when young, up to 3 feet (1 m) per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over 60 feet (20 m) tall.
- Shoots are orange-brown and glabrous (hairless) in texture.
- Leaves are needle-like, 0.5 to 1 inch (12–24 mm) long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous stomatal lines.
- Seed cones are 4 to 7.5 inches (9 – 17 cm) long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish when young, maturing brown 5 to 7 months after pollination.
- Seeds are black, 0.16 to 0.2 inch (4 – 5 mm) long, with a pale brown, 0.6 inch (15 mm) wing.
Distribution. Norway spruce grows throughout Europe from Norway in the northwest and Poland eastward, and also in the mountains of central Europe, southwest to the western end of the Alps, and southeast in the Carpathians and Balkans to the extreme north of Greece. The northern limit is in the arctic, just north of 70°N in Norway. Its eastern limit in Russia is hard to define, due to extensive hybridization and inter-gradation with the Siberian spruce, Picea obovata, but is usually given as the Ural Mountains. However, trees showing some Siberian spruce characters extend as far west as much of northern Finland, with a few records in northeast Norway.Attributed from: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia