Picea orientalis 'Gowdy' / Gowdy Caucasian spruce

Picea orientalis 'Gowdy' is a symmetrical, narrowly conical selection of Caucasian spruce with glossy, very dark-green needles held closely against the stem. The Iseli nursery website further describes it,

Very short, glossy, dark-green needles, held close to the stems of this narrow selection, give the well-defined, recurved, sweeping branches a distinctive appearance. The soft-to-the-touch spruce develops into a stately accent that stands out among other greens in the landscape.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 7.5 feet (2.5 m) tall and 4 feet (1.2 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 8 to 10 inches (20 - 25 cm). Over time, 'Gowdy' will become a large impressive tree in the landscape.

This origin of this cultivar is speculative. It is thought to be of American origin. Donald Wyman, horticulturalist at Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum first described it in 1961 in arboretum papers.

Picea orientalis 'Gowdy' in a private garden in central Michigan.
Photo by Ronald Elardo
Picea orientalis 'Gowdy' — a late snow in central Michigan in 2021 created this captivating vignette.
Photo by Ron Elardo
Picea orientalis 'Gowdy' — Green Industry Images, copyrighted photograph; permission granted.
Photo by Ernie Wiegand