Picea abies 'Parviformis' / Small-shaped Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Parviformis' is a very slow- and low-growing, dwarf upright selection of Norway spruce with thin, dense branches and fine, horizontally held branchlets. Needles are very short, around 0.3 inch (8 mm) long near the branchlet's origin, narrowing to 0.08 inch (2 mm) near at the branch tip. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 30 inches (75 cm) tall and 20 inches (50 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 2 to 3 inches (5 - 7.5 cm).

'Parviformis' is a very old cultivar in the nursery trade, being found in old collections since the late 1800s. It is of unknown origin. Studies by R. Smith in 1864 and Maxwell in 1874 support its historic existence, but it now longer likely exists in the modern nursery trade. "Parviformis" translates into "small shaped" in the Latin language.

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Picea abies 'Parviformis' — an old specimen at Hidden Lakes Gardens, Tipton, Michigan.
Photo by Bill Barger
Picea abies 'Parviformis' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger

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