Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Picea sitchensis
Sitka spruce

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California.

Habitat: Along the coast, from sea level up to about 2,000 feet in moist valleys.

Cones: May-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


A large tree up to 70 m. tall, the bole up to 5 m. in diameter.


Bark very thin, gray-brown to grayish-purple, deciduous in small scales; twigs glabrous.


Needles light green to bluish-green, stiff and sharp, spreading in all directions from the branch, 1.5-2.5 cm. long, flattened, with 2 broad white bands on the upper surface and 2 narrow bands on the lower surface, attached to a raised base.


Staminate cones pendant, red, 10-15 mm. long; ovulate cones 6-9 cm. long, reddish-brown to yellowish-brown, the scales rounded, finely denticulate, rather stiff, the bracts lanceolate, much shorter than the scales and concealed; ovulate cones deciduous as a whole after one season.

Accepted Name:
Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carrière
Publication: Traité Gén. Conif. 260. 1855.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Abies falcata Raf.
Abies menziesii (Douglas ex D. Don) Lindl.
Picea falcata (Raf.) Suringar
Picea menziesii (Douglas ex D. Don) Carrière
Pinus menziesii Douglas ex D. Don
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Picea sitchensis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Picea sitchensis checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Picea sitchensis information.

E-Flora BC: Picea sitchensis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Picea sitchensis photos.

USDA Plants: Picea sitchensis information.

47 photographs:
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