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

Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.
black spruce
Pinaceae (Pine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26093)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Picea mariana
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This is a small evergreen coniferous tree species.

Species Information

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Small tree, to 20 m tall, with short branches; bark grey to blackish, scaly, thin; young twigs densely hairy and glandular.
Needles short, 5-10 (12) mm long, sharp or blunt, with whitish bloom; standing out in all directions or mostly pointing upwards; 4-angled.
Seed cones persistent, 1.5-3 cm long, becoming purplish; scales broadly rounded and irregularly toothed at tip.
Reports of hybrids with P. glauca are probably erroneous; see Parker and McLachlan (1978).

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 mesic bogs, fens, swamps, and lower slopes in the montane zone; common in C and N BC interior; N to AK, E to NF and S to MN and PA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Picea mariana

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) 6 847 1975
Slope Gradient (%) 0 6 262
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 323 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 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: BWBS(832), ESSF(59), ICH(48), IDF(1), MS(5), SBPS(94), SBS(530), SWB(53)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References