Picea abies 'Pachyphylla' / thick-needled Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Pachyphylla' is a slow-growing upright tree-form of Norway spruce with open, sparse, almost snake-like branching. Needles are glossy blue-green in color; extremely thick and fleshy; and radially arranged about the stem. It is a very distinctive and unusual looking conifer.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 3 feet (1 m) tall and 2 feet (60 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 3 to 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm).

'Pachyphylla' is a fairly old cultivar of unknown origin. Murray Hornibrook first described it in his book, Dwarf and Slow-growing Conifers, based on observing a 15-year-old specimen at Kew Gardens, United Kingdom. "Pachyphylla" translates into "thick needle" in the Latin language.

Picea abies 'Pachyphylla' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Picea abies 'Pachyphylla' — a closeup of foliage and seed cone detail.
Photo by Edwin Smits
Picea abies 'Pachyphylla' growing in a commercial nursery display garden in the Netherlands.
Photo by Edwin Smits