Picea orientalis 'Gracilis' / graceful Caucasian spruce

Picea orientalis 'Gracilis' is a slow growing, pyramidal tree form of Caucasian spruce with dense growth and glossy dark green needles that are radially arranged along the branchlet with shorter needles at the tips. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4.5 feet (1.5 m) tall and 3 feet (1 m) wide, an annual growth rate of around 6 inches (15 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the early 1900s by Charles Van Geert Nursery, Kalmthout, Belgium. According to Welch and Haddow in The World Checklist of Conifers, the cultivars Picea orientalis 'Nana,' Compacta,' and 'Gracilis' are all very similar, confused in the nursery trade and can likely no longer be accurately differentiated.

Picea orientalis 'Gracilis' in the Harper Collection of Dwarf & Rare Conifers, Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan, Agust 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Picea orientalis 'Gracilis' at John Vermuelen & Son Nursery, Branchburg, New Jersey.
Photo by Larry Nau
Picea orientalis 'Gracilis' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Larry Nau