Picea abies ‘Cobra’ is a robust-growing strongly pendulous selection of Norway spruce with sparse, snake-like branches holding exceptionally long, light gray-green needles. It must be staked to desired height, after which, the terminal leader will “knuckle over” returning to the ground to form an undulating mat of foliage. Terminal leaders will extend up to 2 feet (60 cm) per year, giving the reader an idea of the eventual potential for size.
This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the late 1980s by Iseli Nursery, Boring, Oregon, USA. According to the Iseli online catalog, each example of this new seedling selection from Iseli Nursery has its own wildly unique character that combines the ground-covering qualities of its parent, Picea abies ‘Pendula’, with the bizarre, snake-like branching of Picea abies ‘Virgata.’ When staked, trees have a relatively tall, straight, sparsely branched main trunk and a thick, ground-hugging skirt that radiates outward with dancing, cobra-like leaders. Best in full sun.