Atrovirens Oriental Spruce

Picea orientalis 'Atrovirens'

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Atrovirens Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis 'Atrovirens') at Millcreek Gardens

Atrovirens Oriental Spruce foliage

Atrovirens Oriental Spruce foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  60 feet

Spread:  25 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Brand:  Monrovia


A magnificent specimen; this is a tall, upright spire-like evergreen with dense, dark green, glossy foliage on pendulous branches; showy female cones with a purplish coloring that matures to brown; a great tree for introducing form to the landscape

Ornamental Features

Atrovirens Oriental Spruce is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The purple fruits which fade to brown over time are held in abundance in spectacular cones from mid to late spring. It has attractive dark green foliage with hints of silver which emerges light green in spring. The glossy needles are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. The rough brown bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Atrovirens Oriental Spruce is a dense evergreen tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree. When pruning is necessary, it is recommended to only trim back the new growth of the current season, other than to remove any dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Atrovirens Oriental Spruce is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Vertical Accent

Planting & Growing

Atrovirens Oriental Spruce will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a low canopy, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Articulation 
Fruit  Foliage Color  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features