Picea abies 'Decumbens' / Decumbent Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Decumbens' is a broadly prostrate, dwarf selection of Norway spruce that is superficially similar to P. abies 'Nidiformis,' but lacks the central nest-like depression and has lighter, almost yellow-green needles. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 12 to 16 inches (30 - 40 cm) high and 24 to 28 inches (60 - 70 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 1.5 - 2.5 inches (4 - 6 cm).

Murray Hornibrook first described this cultivar in 1923 in Dwarf and Slow-growing Conifers. While researching this conifer, no pictures were available; yet this conifer almost certainly exists in older arboretums world-wide. It is reported that extremely old examples of 'Decumbens' are more upright and globose in structure. Derek Spicer in RHS Encyclopedia of Conifers suggests that this may be due to misnaming rather than growth habit. Welch and Haddow seem to back this claim in The World Checklist of Conifers when they claim that the true form is not always seen in cultivation. They further claim that the plant in no longer in cultivation.

In the Latin language "decumbens" refers to decumbent or, lying along the ground or along a surface, with the extremities curving upward.