Picea asperata var. heterolepsis / Notch-scale dragon spruce

Picea asperata var. heterolepis, as described in 1940 by Alfred Rehder (1863–1949) and Ernest Henry Wilson (1876 – 1930), in Manual of Cultivated Trees, 2nd edition, is commonly known as Notch-scale dragon spruce; as well as 裂鳞云杉 (lie lin yun shan) in the Chinese language.

Notable traits that have a bearing on differentiating it from other specific varieties of Dragon spruce include:

  • Branchlets are smooth and orange-brown in color, not waxy.
  • Needles are a little waxy.
  • Cone scale edges are distinctly notched, with a rhombic-oblong outline.
Distribution. This variety is native to China — western Sichuan province (Guan Xian), found growing in the mountains.

Attribution from: James E. Eckenwalder; Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference; ©2009, Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Picea asperata var. heterolepis — foliage and seed cone detail.
Photo by Fracass.be via Flickr
Picea asperata var. heterolepis — an attractive mature specimen.
Photo by Fracass.be via Flickr