Picea orientalis 'Golden Start' / Golden Start Caucasian spruce

Picea orientalis 'Golden Start' is a dwarf, upright, pyramidal selection of Caucasian spruce with dense uniform branching and foliage that flushes bright gold in the spring, later darkening to species typical dark green, but retaining a bit of golden frosting on the upper parts of the branches that are most exposed to the sun. Despite the golden highlights, this conifer does not burn in full sun. In fact, a fully exposed location brings out its best color.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 2.5 to 3 feet (75 - 90 cm) tall and two thirds as wide, an annual growth rate of 2 to 3 inches (5 - 10 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the late 1970s by Kurt Wittboldt-Müller nursery, Verden-Eitz, Germany. It was provisionally named 'Wittboldt' and will occasionally be seen listed as 'Wittboldt Compact.'

Picea orientalis 'Golden Start' in a nursery display garden in The Netherlands.
Photo by Edwin Smits
Picea orientalis 'Golden Start' in a private garden in Petaluma, California. Photo shows early spring coloration.
Photo by Sara Malone
Picea orientalis 'Golden Start' — a closeup of foliage in early spring.
Photo by Sara Malone
Picea orientalis 'Golden Start' darkens considerably by winter and will retain on a small amount of golden highlights.
Photo by David Olszyk
Picea orientalis 'Golden Start' — a closeup of foliage detail in winter.
Photo by David Olszyk

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