Picea abies 'Riverside No. 1' / Riverside No. 1 Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Riverside No. 1' is a dwarf, globose selection of Norway spruce with dense branches, thick, stiff, radially arranged needles and prominent orange-brown buds. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 24 inches (60 cm) tall and wide an annual growth rate of 2.5 inches (6 cm).

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in Riverside cemetery, Moline, Illinois, by Justin "Chub" Harper. In his field notes he described it as, "medium size, high, tight, and nice." Although many of Harper's selections never gained great traction in the U.S. nursery trade, one can find many of the original propagations in the conifer collections at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan and Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa as well as in private collections in the ACS Central Region.

Picea abies 'Riverside No. 1' — an historic 1987 photo of the collecting of cutting material from the original broom.
Photo by Chub Harper
Picea abies 'Riverside No. 1' — first cuttings ready for grafting.
Photo by Chub Harper