Plant of the Month for March 2015

Picea abies 'Little Gem' photographed in the UBC Botanical Garden
Picea abies 'Little Gem'

Description and General Information:

Picea abies 'Little Gem' is perhaps the most dwarf of all the Norway spruce selections.  This particular selection arose as a sport of the nest spruce, P. abies 'Nidiformis'.  'Little Gem' has a very slow growth rate, less than 7 cm per year.  Over time, the plant may reach 60 cm high with a spread of 90 cm but that would be a very old specimen, as shown in the accompanying photo of a plant growing at the UBC Botanical Garden in Vancouver.

'Little Gem' is reasonably deer resistant and can tolerate considerable air pollution.  Exposure to strong cold winds, combined with winter sun, may burn the plant


This plant requires a reasonably well-drained site in full sun.  Although it looks drought-tolerant, it prefers adequate moisture throughout the summer.  It does not seem to be particular about the soil pH.  It is rated hardy from zone 3 to zone 7.

Blooming Period:

Not applicable




None developed


Not applicable


Semi-hardwood cuttings taken in late summer will root over the winter if kept in a greenhouse mist-chamber with bottom heat.


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