|Brewer spruce, Ridge above Bear Lake, Siskiyou Mountains, Ca.|
|Natural range of Picea breweriana|
|Close-up of natural range of Picea breweriana|
Picea breweriana, known as Brewer spruce, Brewer's weeping spruce, or weeping spruce, is a species of spruce native to western North America, where it is one of the rarest on the continent, endemic to the Klamath Mountains of southwest Oregon and northwest California. The specific epithet breweriana is in honor of the American botanist William Henry Brewer.
It is a large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 20–40 m tall, exceptionally 54 m, and with a trunk diameter of up to 1.5 m. The bark is thin and scaly, and purple-gray in color. The crown is very distinct, distinguished by level branches with vertically pendulous branchlets, each branch forming a 'curtain' of foliage. The pendulous foliage only develops when the tree grows to about 1.5–2 m tall; young trees smaller than this (up to about 10–20 years old) are open-crowned with sparse, level branchlets. The shoots are orange-brown, with dense short pubescence about 0.2 mm long and very rough with pulvini 1–2 mm long.
The cones are longer than most other North American spruces, pendulous, cylindrical, 8–15 cm long and 2 cm broad when closed, opening to 3–4 cm broad. They have smoothly rounded, thin, flexible scales 2 cm long. The immature cones are dark purple, maturing red-brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 3–4 mm long, with a slender, 12–18 mm long pale brown wing.
Picea breweriana grows very slowly, typically less than 20 cm (8 in) per year. It occurs mainly on ridgetop sites with very heavy winter snow to provide a steady source of meltwater through the spring, but dry in the summer. The harsh ridgetop conditions minimize competition from other much faster-growing trees like Douglas-fir. It is very well adapted to cope with heavy snow and ice loads, with tough branches, and the drooping branchlets shedding snow readily.
Outside its native range, P. breweriana is a highly valued ornamental tree in gardens, particularly in Great Britain and Scandinavia, where it is appreciated for its dramatically pendulous foliage. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
- Nelson, J. & Farjon, A. (2013). "Picea breweriana". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T34049A2841277. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T34049A2841277.en. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- "Picea breweriana". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Ornduff, Robert (2008). "Thomas Jefferson Howell and the First Pacific Northwest Flora" (PDF). Kalmiopsis. 15: 32–41. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- Hyam, R. & Pankhurst, R.J. (1995). Plants and their names : a concise dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-19-866189-4.
- Ran, J.-H., Wei, X.-X. & Wang, X.-Q. 2006. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of Picea (Pinaceae): Implications for phylogeographical studies using cytoplasmic haplotypes. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 41(2): 405–19.
- Sigurgeirsson, A. & Szmidt, A.E. 1993. Phylogenetic and biogeographic implications of chloroplast DNA variation in Picea. Nordic Journal of Botany 13(3): 233–246.
- Farjon, A. (1990). Pinaceae. Drawings and Descriptions of the Genera. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3-87429-298-3.
- Rushforth, K. (1987). Conifers. Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X.
- Conifer Specialist Group (1998). "Picea breweriana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 May 2006.
- Earle, Christopher J., ed. (2018). "Picea breweriana". The Gymnosperm Database.
- Thornburgh, Dale (1990). "Picea breweriana". In Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H. (eds.). Conifers. Silvics of North America. Washington, D.C.: United States Forest Service (USFS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 1 – via Southern Research Station (www.srs.fs.fed.us).
- Frank Lang's Nature Notes: US Forest Service ecology and the naming
- "RHS Plant Selector - Picea breweriana". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 78. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Picea breweriana.|