Picea pungens 'Montgomery' / Montgomery Colorado blue spruce

Picea pungens 'Montgomery' is considered by many as a classic dwarf conifer and is present in many arboretums and large gardens around the world. This dwarf selection of Colorado spruce is broadly pyramidal, with a somewhat mounding form. Dense, compact branching holds short, fleshy, powder-Blue foliage. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4.5 feet (1.5. m) tall and 3 feet (1 m) wide, and annual growth rate of 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm).

A true Montgomery spruce is usually globose when young and will eventually form a leader, becoming broadly pyramidal with age. A specimen growing in the Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Gardens at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan is now about 35 years of age and is very pyramidal and symmetrical. It is 15 feet (4.5 m) tall with a bottom of 12 feet (3.8 m). The original mother plant is still alive in the New York Botanical Gardens, New York.

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the early 1930s at Eastern Nursery, Massachusetts, USA. Later, noted collector, R.H. Montgomery of Greenwich Connecticut obtained the plant, named it after himself, and introduced it to the nursery trade. In spite of the fact that the plant was originally listed under the cultivar name, 'R.H. Montgomery,' the shortened name, 'Montgomery' has become so prevalent in the international nursery trade, that it's unlikely ever to be corrected. Apparently several of the dwarf Blue spruce have become mixed in the trade, and 'Montgomery' is often confused with the cultivar Picea pungens 'Globosa'.

Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — this specimen is growing in a private garden near Sissinghurst in England. It is an elegant accent to the gold foliage surrounding it.
Photo by Charlene Harris
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — the plant shown in this photo is 23 years of age and about 5 feet tall with a 6 foot spread in 2002. This plant is growing in the Heartland Collection, Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa.
Photo by Chub Harper
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — another of the globose, compact blue spruces, similar to 'Globosa,' growing into a broadly pyramidal shape when mature.
Photo by Iseli Nursery, Inc.
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Sandra McLean Cutler
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' in the Harper Collection of Dwarf & Rare Conifers at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan, August of 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst

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