Picea abies 'Pumila Nigra' / Dwarf Black Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Pumila Nigra' is is dwarf, flattened-globose selection of Norway spruce that with age, becomes broadly spreading. This plant is distinctive through dense, coarse, slightly ascending branches and exceptionally dark-green needles. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 20 to 28 inches (50 - 70 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 2 to 3 inches (5 - 7.5 cm).

'Pumila Nigra' is a very old cultivar, known in large collections and arboretums since the late 1800s. It is of unknown origin. Ludwig Beissner first formally described it in 1891in his book, Handbuch der Nadelholzkunde (Manual for Conifer Connoisseurs).

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Picea abies 'Pumila Nigra' — a stunning mature specimen in an arboretum setting.
Photo by Zelenyi-Kapital Nursery, Russia

Comments

Ed Williams

We have had ours over 25 years and it is only 3 feet high by 6 feet wide. Last years growth was 3 inches. One place on-line described it as "bun like" and maturing like ours. Another place had 6 - 12 inches of growth. Is this the usual New England vs. the Northwest growth rate differences?

David Olszyk

Hi Ed,
everything I've seen describes the growth pattern you describe, i.e. flattened globose shape and definitely dwarf growth of 2-3 inches per year. I think "the other place" missed the call here.

Ed Williams

Thanks David. You might be wondering why so many questions all of a sudden. I am putting our conifers into Plantsmap.com. While I am at it I am trying to make sure the name is correct since much has changed over the last 30 years and the conifer data base is such a great source of information. In this case the conifer data base said the growth rate was 6 - 12 so I thought I would do some checking.

David Olszyk

haha. Not any more. I fixed it. It's going to take a lot of time and a lot of eyes to get this right. Thankfully is a permanent and easily-editable website.