Picea glauca 'Arneson's Blue Variegated' / 'Arneson's Blue Variegated' Varietal Alberta White Spruce

This can be quite a beautiful variegated green and Blue cultivar. The needles are very small. The variegation seems to be quite variable. Perhaps the different levels of variegation are somewhat plant specific or location/zone specific.

Porter Howse Farms states in its calalogue "Introduced by Arneson's Nursery in Oregon, this dwarf conical shrub has striking Blue foliage. However, areas of green foliage develop, giving the plant a mottled appearance."

Adrian Bloom in 'Gardening With Conifers' compares various cultivars of Picea glauca conica stating - Picea glauca var. albertiana Alberta Blue. Found by Ike Bos and his son Richard in Surrey, this was named by me and seems to be the Bluest selection to date. It is difficult to be sure which is the most stable, reliable or desirable of these - all vary somewhat in their habit and intensity of summer color, which on new growth can be vividly Blue, and in their prevalence to revert to green; all are similar in habit, pyramidal to conical' - 'Alberta Blue was preceded by P.g. Sanders Blue, which has a bluish cast; P.g. Arneson's Blue Variegated, with light powder-Blue patches often reverting to green; and the smaller-growing P.g. Blue Wonder, introduced by the young plant nursery at Kordes, Germany, which is less intensely Blue but also has less reversion to green.'

While this plant can survive in colder climates including Zone 3a (my location) it can only do so with complete shading from winter sun and wind for the winter months including very early spring when the ground is still frozen. Even reflected sun will do damage. The plant is quite easy to protect with an old garbage can or the like.

Picea glauca 'Arneson's Blue Variegated' Photographed during May in my Rock Island, IL garden.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Picea glauca 'Arneson's Blue Variegated' Another May photo; 2006.
Photo by Dax Herbst

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