Koyama Spruce – Picea koyamae

Koyama Spruce – Picea koyamae Shiras.
Family Pinaceae: Pine, Cedar, Spruce, Fir
The Koyama spruce is a rare tree native to Japan.
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Koyama Spruce
43-year-old Koyama Spruce

Picea koyamai (Japanese: yatsugatake-to-hi) is commonly known as Koyama spruce or Koyama's Spruce. It is native to the mountains on the borders of Nagano and Toyama Prefectures in central Honshu, Japan, where it grows at 1500-2000 m altitude.

The species epithet after Japanese botanist Mitsua Koyama.


Koyama spruce is a monoecious evergreen tree growing to 20 m tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m. The shoots are orange-brown, with scattered pubescence. The leaves are needle-like, 8-16 mm long, rhombic in cross-section, dark bluish-green with conspicuous stomatal lines. The cones are cylindric-conic, 5-10 cm long and 2 cm broad, maturing pale brown 5-7 months after pollination, and have stiff, smoothly rounded scales that are up to 15 mm long and 13-16 mm wide. Flowering takes place from May to June.

It is occasionally planted as an ornamental tree. The wood is similar to that of other spruces, but the species is too rare to be of economic value. It's a shame this tree is not planted successfully more often. It's a very interesting specimen, with rough, plate-exfoliating bark.

Koyama Spruce cones

1. USDA Forest Service Fact Sheet ST-467 Pinus mugo Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson
2. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network –
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