Picea abies 'Acrocona' / Acrocona Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Acrocona' is an irregular upright form of Norway spruce, named for its unusual habit of producing most of its cones at the end of the new growth ("acro" meaning "at the end"). This characteristic also means that tree is self pruning in that the twigs terminate with the cone and the tree tends to take on a drooping, spreading shape and may need staking a terminal to achieve a desired height. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 12 to 15 feet (4 - 5 m) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 15 to 18 inches (35 – 45 cm).

In spring, its abundant red-purple cones and lime green foliage coloring make it a standout in the garden. By summer, as the shoots lengthen, the cones droop downward and turn brown in color and foliage coloration reverts to more typical gray-green.

This cultivar is known to gardens and the nursery trade since about 1890, when it was found occurring as a spontaneous mutation in a forest near Uppsala, Sweden.

Picea abies 'Acrocona' — plant accessioned in 2000 by the Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to Tony Aiello, the Arboretum’s curator and director of horticulture, this plant was a gift from Armen and Roxie Gevjan, who had a remarkable dwarf conifer collection at their home in Newtown Square. This specimen was planted in its location to fill the triangle of lawn created by the steps and accessible ramp in the area. It has filled in this area and can now be seen on most aerial photographs, such as Google or Bing maps.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss
Picea abies 'Acrocona' — a well-shaped mature specimen in an arboretum setting.
Photo by Bill Barger
Picea abies 'Acrocona' — a display of foliage and fresh seed cones.
Photo by Bill Barger
Picea abies 'Acrocona'
Photo by Don Howse
Picea abies 'Acrocona'
Photo by Ken Church
Picea abies 'Acrocona'
Photo by Sandra McLean Cutler
Picea abies 'Acrocona' spruce photographed in Maine in mid-May showing new red-purple cones with the characteristic drooping, end-of-stem cones of last season.
Photo by Sean Callahan
Picea abies 'Acrocona' — the female "flower" in early spring.
Photo by John Fertig
Picea abies 'Acrocona' — the female "flower" in early spring.
Photo by John Fertig

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