Picea glauca (Moench) Voss
white spruce
Pinaceae (Pine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Dickson     (Photo ID #351)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Picea glauca
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend


This is an evergreen coniferous tree species that is found across Canada and in Alaska, northern Montana and Wyoming.

Species Information

Tree erect, up to 40 m tall; bark silvery-brown to blackish, scaly, thin; young twigs glabrous.
Needles pointed, stiff; standing out in all directions; 4-angled; aromatic when crushed.
Seed cones 2.5-3.5 cm long, becoming yellowish-brown at maturity, scales rounded to blunt at tip, smooth margined, not papery thin; pollen cones pale red.
Hybridizes with P. engelmannii and P. sitchensis. Hybrids with P. sitchensis have been called P. x lutzii Little and occur in the Coast Mountains. Hybrids with P. engelmannii occur throughout much of interior BC; pure P. glauca is found mostly N of 56degreeN and in the Chilcotin.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Picea glauca

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
903 0 2110
Slope Gradient (%)
13 0 205

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

289 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BAFA(26), BWBS(1403), CWH(1), ESSF(107), ICH(105), IDF(99), IMA(1), MS(112), PP(7), SBPS(69), SBS(803), SWB(307)

Habitat and Range

Wet to dry slopes, river terraces, bogs and fens in the montane and subalpine zones; common in C and N BC, except on coast; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to N MT and WY.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Picea canadensis (Mill.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.
Picea glauca var. albertiana (S. Br.) Sarg.
Picea glauca var. densata Bailey
Picea glauca var. porsildii Raup