Picea abies 'Cincinnata' / Cincinnata Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Cincinnata' is a large, weeping upright selection of Norway spruce with long, thin, recurved, dark green needles. It is unlike other "pendula" types of this species as the branches tend to grow out and then down. Its growth habit has been compared more often to that of the snake-branch spruce form. It's terminal leader is strictly upright, while laterals are held generally horizontal and meandering. Branchlets emerge near the tops of the laterals then immediately knuckle over creating the effect of "shoulders," a unique distinguishing factor.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 10 to 12 feet (3.5 - 4 m) tall and 4 to 5 feet (1.5 m) wide, a rate of growth approaching 2 feet (60 cm) per year. Give it plenty of space and it will become a striking specimen in the landscape.

This is a very old cultivar having been introduced to the nursery trade in 1897 by Hermann A. Hesse Nursery, Weener am Ems, Germany.

Picea abies 'Cincinnata' — a young specimen seen during the ACS tour of Dawes Arboretum, Columbus, Ohio in 2004. The plant's weeping character has not yet become apparent likely because of its youth.
Photo by Ken Church
Picea abies 'Cincinnata' — a closeup of branch detail showing the distinctive "shoulder" effect of the branchlets.
Photo by David Olszyk