|Forest at Kaindy Lake, southeast Kazakhstan|
Picea schrenkiana, Schrenk's spruce, or Asian spruce, is a spruce native to the Tian Shan mountains of central Asia in western China (Xinjiang), Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It grows at altitudes of 1,200–3,500 metres, usually in pure forests, sometimes mixed with the Tien Shan variety of Siberian fir (Abies sibirica var. semenovii). Its name was given in honour of Alexander von Schrenk (1816–1876).
Picea schrenkiana is a large evergreen tree growing to 40–50 metres (130–160 ft) tall (rarely to 60 metres (200 ft)), with a trunk diameter of up to 1–2 metres (3.3–6.6 ft). It has a narrow conical crown with level branches and sometimes pendulous branchlets. The shoots are pale buff-brown, and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like, 1.5-3.5 cm long, rhombic in cross-section, dark green with inconspicuous stomatal lines.
The cones are cylindric–conic, 6–12 cm long and 2 cm broad, purple when young, maturing dark brown and opening to 2.5–3.5 cm broad 5–7 months after pollination; the scales are moderately stiff and smoothly rounded.
There are two subspecies:
- Picea schrenkiana subsp. schrenkiana. Eastern Tian Shan, in Kazakhstan and Xinjiang. Leaves longer, 2–3.5 cm long.
- Picea schrenkiana subsp. tianshanica (Rupr.) Bykov. Western Tian Shan, in Kyrgyzstan. Leaves shorter, 1.5–2.5 cm long.
Schrenk's spruce is an important tree in central Asia for timber and paper production, where few other large trees exist. Its slower growth compared to Norway Spruce reduces its importance outside of its native range.
- Farjon, A. (1990). Pinaceae. Drawings and Descriptions of the Genera. Koelz Scientific, ISBN 3-87429-298-3.
- Zsolt Debreczy; Istvan Racz (2012). Kathy Musial, ed. Conifers Around the World (1st ed.). DendroPress. p. 1089. ISBN 9632190610.
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