E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Dickson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #351)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Picea glauca
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.


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

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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) 0 903 2110
Slope Gradient (%) 0 13 205
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 289 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number 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)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

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

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References