Picea schrenkiana

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Template:Use dmy dates Template:Italic title Template:Taxobox Picea schrenkiana, Schrenk's spruce,[1] or Asian spruce,[1] is a spruce native to the Tian Shan mountains of central Asia in western China (Xinjiang), Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.[1] It grows at altitudes of 1,200–3,500 metres,[2] usually in pure forests, sometimes mixed with the Tien Shan variety of Siberian fir (Abies sibirica var. semenovii). Its name was given in honour of Alexander von Schrenk (1816–1876).


File:Picea schrenkiana Rogów 2.JPG
Picea schrenkiana tree in Rogów Arboretum, Poland

Picea schrenkiana is a large evergreen tree growing to Template:Convert tall (rarely to Template:Convert), with a trunk diameter of up to Template:Convert. It has a narrow conical crown with level branches and sometimes pendulous branchlets. The shoots are pale buff-brown, and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like, 1.5-3.5 cm long, rhombic in cross-section, dark green with inconspicuous stomatal lines.

The cones are cylindric–conic, 6–12 cm long and 2 cm broad, purple when young, maturing dark brown and opening to 2.5–3.5 cm broad 5–7 months after pollination; the scales are moderately stiff and smoothly rounded.


There are two subspecies:

  • Picea schrenkiana subsp. schrenkiana. Eastern Tian Shan, in Kazakhstan and Xinjiang. Leaves longer, 2–3.5 cm long.
  • Picea schrenkiana subsp. tianshanica (Rupr.) Bykov. Western Tian Shan, in Kyrgyzstan. Leaves shorter, 1.5–2.5 cm long.

It is closely related to, and in many respects intermediate between Morinda spruce (Picea smithiana) from further south in the Himalaya, and Siberian spruce (Picea obovata) further north in Siberia. Template:Clear


Schrenk's spruce is an important tree in central Asia for timber and paper production, where few other large trees exist. Its slower growth compared to Norway Spruce reduces its importance outside of its native range.


Picea schrenkiana is grown as an ornamental tree in large gardens and public parks in Europe.



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