Picea abies 'Maxwellii' / Maxwell's Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Maxwellii' is an irregular dwarf, low growing compact, flattened globose selection of Norway spruce with dense, short stiff, branches holding thick, Blue-green needles that grow radially about the stem. A peculiar feature of 'Maxwellii' is a tendency to produce many short thick shoots with exceptionally thick needles and dense clusters of buds.

After 10 years, a mature specimen will measure 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 24 inches (60 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm), more outward than up. With clumpy irregular growth, an old 'Maxwellii' makes a strong statement in a large garden or arboretum.

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected around 1860 by T.C. Maxwell Brothers Nursery, Geneva. New York, USA.

Picea abies 'Maxwellii' in the Gotelli Collection at the U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C., May 2006.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Picea abies 'Maxwellii' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Picea abies 'Maxwellii' — a particularly outstanding old specimen in an arboretum setting.
Photo by Bill Barger