The Spruce reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Spruce

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Spruces
Spruce branch showing needles

Shoot of Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Pinophyta
Class:Pinopsida
Order:Pinales
Family:Pinaceae
Genus:Picea
Species
about 35, see text
Picea abies cone

Norway Spruce (Picea abies) cone

Spruce refers to trees of the Genus Picea, a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from 20-60 (-95) m tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical form. The needles, or leaves, of spruce trees are attached singly to the branches in a spiral fashion, each needle on a small peg-like structure called a pulvinus. The needles are shed when 4-10 years old, leaving the branches rough with the retained pulvini (an easy means of distinguishing them from other similar genera, where the branches are fairly smooth).

Spruces are popular ornamental trees in horticulture, admired for their evergreen, symmetrical narrow-conic growth habit. For the same reason, some (particularly Picea abies and P. omorika) are also extensively used as Christmas trees. Spruce wood, often called whitewood, is used for many purposes, ranging from lumber for construction to musical instruments; it is also one of the most important woods for paper manufacture, as it has long wood fibres which bind together to make strong paper. The resin was used in the manufacture of pitch in the past (before the use of petrochemicals); the scientific name Picea is generally thought to be derived from Latin pix, pitch (though other etymologies have been suggested).

Table of contents
1 List of species:

List of species:

1 Cones with thickish scales; leaves quadrangular in cross-section: section Picea
1a Cones with (mostly) pointed scales; leaves blunt or somewhat pointed
1b Cones with smoothly rounded scales; leaves blunt or somewhat pointed 1c Cones with smoothly rounded scales; leaves viciously sharp-pointed 2 Cones with thickish wavy scales, leaves slightly to strongly flattened: section Omorika
2a Cones mostly with rounded scales; leaves flattened in section, white below
2b Cones mostly with wavy scales; leaves slightly flattened in section, often paler below 3 Cones with very thin, wavy scales: section Casicta See also Kiidk'yaas.

External links

Links to other Pinaceae

Pinus - Picea - Cathaya - Larix - Pseudotsuga - Abies - Cedrus - Keteleeria - Pseudolarix - Nothotsuga - Tsuga