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Woody > Picea > Picea abies > Picea abies 'Aurea Magnifica'

Picea abies

'Aurea Magnifica'

Golden Norway Spruce

Origin:  Boskoop, Holland by Ottolander and Hooftman in 1899.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


This is a great choice for collectors and plant enthusiasts, different shades of yellow add impressive colour to any landscape throughout the season. The mature tree will fill the landscape with form and texture. If you are looking for something that is unique and magnificent use Magnificent Norway Spruce for year round colour and foliage. One of the most beautiful spruce cultivars available today.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


'Aurea Magnifica'
Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
5–10 m
3–5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
An upright pyramidal horizontal branching evergreen with light green yellow needles which darken to gold yellow after first frost and tips becoming orange-yellow in the winter. Low maintenance and hardy, lightly prune to maintain size and remove dead or diseased branches.
A pyramidal shaped tree with horizontal branches that touch the ground; this unique tree is great for a specimen planting to add year round colour in any landscape. Well suited for park plantings and as a feature tree. As a rare and interesting specimen, it would make an outstanding addition to any collector garden.
Plant in full sun for best colour production but it will also tolerate partial shade. Plant in moderately moist soil with any level of acidity. Prune lightly to maintain a smaller size if desired and to remove diseased or dying branches. It is best to plant in a sheltered spot to prevent sun scorching when newly planted and stake only until a good root system has developed.
Upright, Pyramidal form with low growing horizontal branching.
ID Characteristic
Light yellow-green in colour throughout the summer, this cultivar becomes golden yellow with the tips turning yellow orange in the winter. Young bark is a dark orange-brown colour all season with small brown orange buds near the ends of the branches while the mature bark is grey and smoothly scaled. Needles turn, reaching toward the end of the branches.
Susceptible to spruce budworm as well as spruce canker.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Bark emerges brown-orange and matures into grey-brown; texture is smooth and slightly scaled.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Brown raised buds located toward the end of branches, 2–3 cm long and 2 cm wide. Buds are soft but scaly.
Leaf Description
Needles are soft and arranged as a whorled pattern along the branch 4–5 cm long. New growth is bright yellow fading to a bright green in summer, turning gold after first frost with tips turning to an orange-yellow. Needles grow turned upright reaching for the tips of branches.
Flower Description
Flowers are pink, 5 cm long and wide, emerging at the end of branches in June. Flowers are similar to Picea abies.
Fruit Description
Cones form 1.2–2.5 cm wide and 15 cm long. They emerge light brown becoming reddish brown with maturity, growing pendulously from the branches and are soft to the touch.
Colour Description
New growth emerges bright yellow and fades to a bright green-yellow in summer. After the first frost a gold yellow colour develops in the needles and the tips of the branches turn yellow-orange. New bark is orange brown darkening to grey-brown with age.
Texture Description
Needles are soft with smooth slightly scaled bark very similar in texture to the Larix species.
Notable Specimens
Whistling Gardens Conifer Garden, Wilsonville, Ontario, Canada; Four Seasons Garden's, Walsall, England, United Kingdom.
Propagate by cuttings onto Picea abies under stock by removing side shoots in the winter and keeping media warm and moist (18 – 20°C) in a plastic filmed tent. Grafting will form calluses after 5–6 weeks and can be removed from the tented environment after three months of growth. Cuttings of this form are not always viable.
Adrian Bloom. Gardening With Conifers. Willowdale: Firefly Books, 2002. Print.