Picea abies 'Veitchii' / Veitch's Norway spruce

Picea abies 'Veitchii' is a slow-growing, broadly globose selection of Norway spruce that is superficially similar to P. abies 'Gregoryana.' According to Welch and Haddow in The World Checklist of Conifers, the differences in 'Veitchii' include a faster growth rate, looser branching with nodding tips, and needles that are held radially only along the upper surfaces of the stems. Needles along the sides are more pectinate to semi-radial in arrangement.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 18 to 24 inches (45 - 60 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 1.5 to 2 inches (4.5 – 5 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the early 1900s by distinguished English horticulturalist and nurseryman, James Herbert Veitch. Alfred Rehder formally described it in 1927 in Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. The plant is also occasionally seen listed as P. abies 'Gregoryana Veitchii.' Given the difficulty in finding photographs of this cultivar for this record, it is not likely to be very commonly seen in cultivation any more.

Picea abies 'Veitchii' — a mature plant in a private conifer collection in Germany.
Photo by Manfred Ruckszio