Picea omorika 'Günter' / Günter Serbian spruce

Picea omorika 'Günter' is a slow-growing, flattened globose selection of Serbian spruce that, when given sufficient time, will develop a semblance of a leader, becoming squatly conical at maturity. Branching is fairly dense and symmetrical; and needles are short and species-typical silvery Blue green in color. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 28 inches (70 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm).

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in the late 1970s by Günter Horstmann and introduced to the nursery trade via his family's nursery in Schneverdingen, Germany. It was provisionally released under the name [HB No. 2 Horstmann] and was changed at some point by the originators. In the English language, 'Guenter' is an acceptable variation in the spelling. However, this cultivar name is often seen misspelled as 'Guenther' or 'Günther' which is an acceptable alternative spelling, but it's not how Herr Horstmann spelled it.

PorterHowse Farms catalogue claimed that "Hexenbesen (HB), the German word for witch's broom is invalid according to botanical nomenclature. According to Porterhowse Farms' proprietor, Don Howse of Sandy, Oregon, the cultivar name had been changed to 'Günter' and is named in honor the originator, Günter Horstmann. The plant is a very dwarf and dense conical plant with dark green needles that have silvery back sides. This plant is an excellent candidate for the rockery or other small garden."

Picea omorika 'Günter' — seen in 2000 during the ACS tour of the Harper Collection at Hidden Lake Gardens in Michigan.
Photo by Ken Church
Picea omorika 'Günter' in the Harper Collection of Dwarf & Rare Conifers, at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan; August 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst