Sikkim Spruce
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Sikkim Spruce
E Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Sikkim Spruce, East Himalayan Spruce
Botanical name: Picea spinulosa    Family: Pinaceae (Pine family)
Synonyms: Pinus spinulosa, Abies spinulosa, Picea morindoides

Sikkim Spruce is a large evergreen tree growing up to 40-55 m tall (exceptionally to 65 m), and with a trunk diameter of up to 1-2.5 m. It has a conical crown with horizontal branches and usually drooping branchlets. The shoots are whitish to pale buff, and hairless. Leaves are needle-like, 1.7-3.2 cm long, slender, rhombic to slightly flattened in cross-section, glossy green on the upper side, with two prominent blue-white stomatal bands on the lower side. The cones are cylindric-conic, 6-12 cm long and 2 cm broad, green or tinged reddish when young, maturing glossy orange-brown to red-brown and opening to 3 cm broad, 5-7 months after pollination; the scales are moderately stiff, with a bluntly pointed tip. Sikkim spruce is occasionally grown as an ornamental tree in large gardens in western and central Europe for its attractive drooping branchlets. The timber is used for construction, and the tree is cultivated for afforestation. Sikkim Spruce is found in the Eastern Himalayas, from Nepal to Bhutan and Sikkim, at altitudes of 2900-3600 m.

Identification credit: Amit Kumar, Siddarth Machado Photographed in North Sikkim.

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