Picea pungens 'Ruby Teardrops' / Ruby Teardrops Colorado spruce

Picea pungens ‘Ruby Teardrops’ is a striking dwarf Blue selection of Colorado spruce that provides a vibrant color display early in the growing season. Abundant emerging cones are red to magenta, contrasting vividly against teal-Blue foliage generally lasting for at least four weeks, longer in cooler weather. As cones age, they take on a khaki color and will eventually deteriorate rather than dislodge. The foliage will soften to more of a pleasing sky Blue into summer. The overall growth structure is squat-irregular to globose. At maturity a specimen will be about 3 feet (1 m) tall and slightly wider, suggesting an annual growth rate of 2 to 4 inches (5 - 10 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the early 2000s by Fisher Farms, Gaston, Oregon and introduced to the nursery trade 2010. It was one of three plants selected in 2016 for the ACS Collectors Conifer of the Year Program and selected in 2013 as the ACS Western Region Conifer of the Year.

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Picea pungens 'Ruby Teardrops' at the ACS Reference Garden, Oregon Garden, Silverton — early spring foliage.
Photo by Janice LeCocq
Picea pungens 'Ruby Teardrops' in summer after the spring push mellows.
Photo by Sam Pratt

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