Picea glauca, commonly called white spruce, is an extremely hardy evergreen conifer that is native to upland areas and lake/stream margins stretching from Alaska across the boreal forest of Canada to Newfoundland, dipping south to Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and New York. This tree typically grows 60-80' tall (less frequently to 140' tall) with a cone-shaped crown. It diminishes in size to low, shrubby forms near tree line in northern Canada. Blue-green needles (to 3/4") on small woody pegs have sharp tips. Needles are pungently aromatic when crushed. Needles have a glaucous (white waxy coating) bloom, hence the specific epithet and common name. Branchlets do not droop. Cylindrical pale brown cones (to 2.5" long) have flexible scales.
Genus name is reportedly derived from the Latin word pix meaning pitch in reference to the sticky resin typically found in spruce bark.
Specific epithet both are in reference to the fact that mature needles of this tree become glaucous (acquire a waxy white bloom) with age.
'Conica' is a dense, cone-shaped, semi-dwarf to dwarf shrub form with soft bright green foliage. It matures over a number of years to 10-13' tall. Growth rate is 2-4" per year. Needles (to 1/2" long) are aromatic when crushed. Cones are rarely produced. Sharp pointed tip will broaden with age. 'Conica' was discovered by J. G. Jack and Alfred Rehder at Lake Laggan, Alberta, Canada, in 1904. Plants are often trimmed into topiary forms when grown in containers.