Picea pungens 'Fat Albert' / Fat Albert Colorado blue spruce

Picea pungens 'Fat Albert' is quite common and very popular in the nursery trade. It is a vigorous, densely compact, broadly pyramidal selection of Colorado spruce with nice, bright-blue needles. A mature specimen will measure 10 to 15 feet (3 - 5m) tall and two-thirds as wide after 10 years in the landscape, an annual growth rate of about 1 foot (30 cm). It naturally forms a leader; no staking is required for young plants.

This cultivar originated as seedling personally selected in 1981 by Jean Iseli of Iseli nursery, Boring, Oregon and whimsically named by Don Howse, a longtime friend of the nursery and self-proclaimed "plant addict." Don named this conifer after a cartoon character made famous by Bill Cosby. It is part of Iseli nursery's "Signature Series."

Specimen in arboretum. Photo taken at Hidden Lakes Gardens, Tipton, Michigan.
Photo by Chub Harper
Picea pungens 'Fat Albert' — at The Gotelli Conifer Collection, US National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.
Photo by Dax Herbst