Morinda Spruce (Picea smithiana)

Tree
P. morinda.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Morinda Spruce
Picea smithiana
Pinaceae

The bark is very water resistant and is used for roofing and making water troughs[146, 158].

Small quantities of resin are obtained from between the bark and the wood[146].

Wood – soft to moderately hard. Used in construction, shingles, crates, household purposes etc[146, 272]. It is also valued for its use in the pulp industry to make paper[171]. An indifferent fuel but it yields a fairly good charcoal[158].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Young male catkins – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring[172].

    Immature female cones – cooked. The central portion, when roasted, is sweet and syrupy[172].

    Inner bark – dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread[172]. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails.

    Seed – raw. Too small and fiddly to be worthwhile unless you are desperate[172].

    A refreshing tea, rich in vitamin C, can be made from the young shoot tips[172].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – stratification will probably improve germination so sow fresh seed in the autumn in a cold frame if possible[80]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible in a cold frame[78]. A position in light shade is probably best[78]. Seed should not be allowed to dry out and should be stored in a cool place[80]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions in early summer of the following year, or be placed in an outdoor nursery bed for a year or so to increase in size. They might need protection from spring frosts. Cuttings of semi-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, August in a frame. Protect from frost. Forms roots in the spring[78]. Cuttings of mature terminal shoots, 5 – 10cm long, September/October in a cold frame. Takes 12 months[78]. Cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, early summer in a frame. Slow but sure.
Likes abundant moisture at the roots, if grown in drier areas it must be given a deep moist soil[11]. Tolerates poor peaty soils[200]. Succeeds in wet cold and shallow soils but is not very wind-firm in shallow soils[1]. Succeeds in most sites, including limestone[81]. Prefers a pH between 4 to 6[200]. Dislikes shade[200]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[11]. Resists wind exposure to some degree[200]. Most trees are only hardy to zone 8 (tolerating temperatures down to about -5 to -10¡c) but selected clones can succeed in zone 7 with temperatures down to -15¡c[200]. In some upland areas, especially over granitic or other base-poor soils, growth rate and health have been seriously affected by aluminium poisoning induced by acid rain[200]. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200]. Difficult to establish because it is sensitive to frost until it is 1.5 metres or more tall, young plants should be given a position sheltered from the early morning sun[11]. Established trees can grow quite vigorously making new growth of 60cm per year for a number of years[185]. Plants in general are slow-growing[1888]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance[200].
E. Asia – Himalayas.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.