Picea rubens Sargent. Red Spruce, He Balsam. Phen: May-Jun; Oct. Hab: Common to dominant in spruce and spruce-fir forests at high elevations, scattered in northern hardwood forests, heath balds, boulderfield forests, ridges, and rarely coves, also in bogs or swampy forests at lower elevations (in NC not below 1000 m), ranging in moisture tolerance from dry ridges (though these are often fog-bathed) to saturated peats, and sometimes planted and naturalized. Picea rubens appears as scattered individuals ("natural waifs") at lower elevations than it is usually found; these seem to reflect sporadic seeding and short term survival and growth from some natural means. Dist: NS and NB south (interruptedly) to w. NC and e. TN. A single tree in the Mountains of SC is presumably a "natural waif" (Bradley et al. [in prep.]). Also planted and persistent or possibly naturalizing on Brasstown Bald, Rabun County, GA (M. Medley, pers.comm. 2022).
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Syn: = C, F, FNA2, G, K1, K3, K4, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, Tn, Va, W, WV, Price (1989); > Picea australis – S; > Picea rubens – S