Engelmann's Spruce (Picea Engelmanni)
Picea Engelmanni. Pine Family
An evergreen tree, fifty to one hundred and fifty feet high, two to five feet in diameter, with spreading branches in regular whorls and pubescent branchlets. Leaves: keeled above and beneath, tretragonal, acute. Flowers: staminate ones dark purple, axillary and terminal on the previous year's branchlets, oblong-cylindrical; pistillate aments bright scarlet, borne at the ends of the branchlets. Fruit: cones pendulous, seeds imbedded in the membranous base of the wing.
Engelmann's Spruce grows between 5,000 and 7,000 feet in the mountains, and is a very disagreeable-smelling tree. It is widely distributed, and has rich cinnamon-coloured bark, and sharp pointed blue-green leaves which are inserted singly and stand out in all directions from the vigorous branches, that grow in whorls round the stem. Many tiny branchlets hang from the main branches. When you take hold of a branch of this tree the leaves feel harsh, and the ends of them will hurt your hand. The drooping cones mature the first year, they are green tinged with reddish-purple, and when mature become a light chestnut brown.