Picea pungens 'Porcupine' / Porcupine Colorado spruce

Pinus pungens 'Porcupine' is a true miniature selection of Colorado spruce that grows with a slightly irregular, cushion-shaped outline. Branching is extremely stubby and congested. Needles are short, stiff, sharp and Blue in color. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure a mere 12 inches (30 cm) tall and and slightly wider, an annual growth rate of 1 inch (2.5 cm) or less.

According to Bob Fincham in his 2011 book, Small Conifers for Small Gardens, 'Porcupine' made its world premier in the early 1980s at Portland, Oregon's annual Farwest Trade Show. The owner of the plant was first approached by Jean Iseli, founder of Iseli Nursery who wanted to purchase it and put it into production. His offer was refused. Later, the anonymous owner gifted the original specimen to Dick Bush, a nurseryman from Canby, Oregon who, with the help of Jean Iseli and Bob Fincham jointly introduced it to the American nursery trade.

Because it takes so long for a plant to reach a good marketable size, 'Porcupine' will sadly always be hard to find but is definitely worth the search.

Picea pungens 'Porcupine' at Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton, Iowa in their Heartland Collection of Garden Conifers, late October of 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Picea pungens 'Porcupine' at the Flora Wonder Arboretum in Gaston, Oregon.
Photo by David Olszyk
Picea pungens 'Porcupine' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by David Olszyk