Picea engelmannii'Lobo' #56, is a perfectly symmetrical miniature selection of Engelmann spruce that spends many years in tight, globose form before developing some apical dominance, becoming a delightful tiny cone of short tight branches and fluffy Blue needles. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 16 inches (40 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 1 inch (2.5 cm), or slightly more.
This cultivar originated as a witch’s broom found in the 1990s by Colorado’s preeminent broom hunter, Jerry Morris. According to his notes, Jerry found the original broom up a 4-mile road along the route past the Limber Grove hiking area in Park County, Colorado, describing it as, “18 inches around and 10 feet up, an average witch’s broom.” Apparently, this broom was a virtual twin of 'Hobo' #57. He first designated it as [#56], meaning that this was Jerry’s 56th named Engelmann spruce selection. Nomenclature purists will list this conifer as, Picea engelmannii ‘Lobo’ #56.
Picea engelmannii 'Lobo'— a 15-year-old specimen in a private garden in Belgium.
Photo by Arsène Sapin
Picea engelmannii 'Lobo'— a younger plant, still quite globose.
Photo by Clément Anthoine