Picea abies 'Microsperma' / Small-seeded Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Microsperma' is a dwarf, broadly conical selection of Norway spruce with dense branching and distinctive clusters of several prominent buds at the terminals. Light green needles grow densely crowded along the stem with a slight twist. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 24 inches (60 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of around 2 inches (5 cm).

'Microsperma' is a very old cultivar in the nursery trade and is of unknown origin. In the late 1800s it was spontaneous found listed in the United Kingdom at Kew Gardens as well as gardens in Ireland. Its U.S. introduction appears to have taken place through the large nurseries in Rochester, New York in the 1920s. "Microsperma" translates into "small seeded" in the Latin language.

Picea abies 'Microsperma' at Dawes Arboretum, Cincinnati, Ohio; seen during an ACS tour in 2004.
Photo by Ken Church
Picea abies 'Microsperma' at Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa in the Heartland Collection of Garden Conifers, October 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Picea abies 'Microsperma' — Green Industry Images, copyrighted photograph.
Photo by Ernie Wiegand
Picea abies 'Microsperma' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Picea abies 'Microsperma' — an old specimen in an arboretum setting.
Photo by Bill Barger