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Sitka Spruce

Picea sitchensis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Pinales
Family:
Pinaceae (Pine)
Type:
Evergreen tree
Maximum Size:
50 metres tall
Habitats:
Gardens, mountains, seaside, towns, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, no petals
 
The flowers are catkins. The male flowers are pale, blunt, yellow and oval. The female flowers are erect, red and oval, and they crowd together towards the top of the tree. The male and female flowers are found on the same trees.
Fruit:
Oblong, pale brown, hanging cones.Up to 10cm long. The cones are very similar to those of Norway Spruce (Picea abies) but are shorter and the scales of the cones have crinkled edges. The Norway Spruce has cones which reach 20cm long. Small winged seeds are found inside the cones. The seeds ripen from September to October.
Leaves:
Stiff and sharp, needle-like, pointed leaves. The bluish-green needles are flattened in cross-section and are anything up to 25mm in length. The needles are attached to their twigs by short woody stalks called pegs. The Sitka Spruce is widely planted in coniferous plantations throughout the British Isles. Sitka Spruce could be mistaken for Norway Spruce (Picea abies) but the foliage of Sitka Spruce is much tougher and feels spiky. Also, the needles are bluish underneath (with white stripes, unlike those of Norway Spruce). The needles feel sharp enough to scratch you.
Other Names:
Coast Spruce, Coast West Spruce, Coastal Spruce, Menzies Spruce, Silver Spruce, Tideland Spruce, Western Spruce, Yellow Spruce.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Similar Species:
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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