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Picea purpurea

Picea purpurea
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Product Information

Scientific name: Picea purpurea M.T.Masters  1906

Synonyms: Picea likiangensis var. purpurea (Mast.) Dallim. & A.B.Jacks.             

Common names: Purple cone spruce, Zi guo yun shan (Chinese)



Tree to 40(-50) m tall, with trunk to 1(-2) m in diameter. Bark dark gray, becoming rough but remaining scaly with age. Crown conical, with fairly short horizontal to downswept branches turning up at the tips and bearing side branches all around. New branchlets pale yellowish brown, densely hairy. Buds 3-5 mm long, resinous. Needles shiny bright or dark green above, white beneath, 0.7-1.2(-1.4) cm long, angled forward and tightly pressed against the twigs and covering them, flattened top to bottom, without or with one or two incomplete lines of stomates on the two outer faces and four to six lines in the stomatal bands on the inner faces, blunt. Pollen cones 15-25 mm long, red. Seed cones 2.5-4(-7) cm long, dark reddish purple before maturity, ripening purplish brown. Seed scales diamond-shaped with a projecting tip, thin and flexible. Seed body 2.5-4 mm long, the wing 3-5 mm longer.

West-central China in southeastern Qinghai, southern Gansu, and northwestern Sichuan. In pure stands or mixed with other conifers and a few hardwoods in subalpine and upper montane forest on north-facing slopes; 2,600-3,800 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened

(Picea purpurea has suffered a reduction in its population over the past 100 years but substantial areas of forest remain. Its reduction is estimated to have been below the threshold for Vulnerable, but it remains to be seen whether the current logging ban will have completely halted it. If logging continues to a lesser extent, this species could meet the criteria for a threatened listing in the near future. Accordingly the category Near Threatened appears most appropriate)



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodePICE2DKM89
Weight1.5 kg
Height15 - 20 cm

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