Sitka Spruce

CAD $5.00

Picea sitchensis

Sitka Spruce is one of the tallest species of trees!

Height: 70 m.

Edible: Y

Medicine: Y

Other Uses: Y

Poisonous: N

Soil: Moist, well-drained, damp soil.

Watering: Lots of water

Sun: Sunny to partial sun

Usually found at: Moist, well drained sites such as alluvial floodplains, marine terraces, headlands, recent glacial out-wash, avalanche tracks; also on old logs; typically at low to middle elevations

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Description

Picea sitchensis

Sitka Spruce is one of the tallest species of trees!

Height: 70 m.

Edible: Y

Medicine: Y

Other Uses: Y

Poisonous: N

Soil: Moist, well-drained, damp soil.

Watering: Lots of water

Sun: Sunny to partial sun

Usually found at: Moist, well drained sites such as alluvial floodplains, marine terraces, headlands, recent glacial out-wash, avalanche tracks; also on old logs; typically at low to middle elevations

 

Leaves: Needles—yellowish green or blue- grey and prickly!

Bark: Reddish brown to grey-brown. Looks scaly.

Cones: Pollen cones – Red. Seed cones – 5-8 cm long, reddish brown.

First Nations uses: The sharp needles of spruce were believed to gave it special powers for protection against evil thoughts. The Dtidaht and other Nuu-chah-nulth peoples used the bought in winter dance ceremonies to protect the dancers and to ‘scare’ spectators. Among the Haida, Tlingit, Tsunsgian and other central and northern coastal people, the inner bark was eaten fresh or dried into cakes and eaten with berries. the Makah were said to eat the young shoots raw; these would have been an excellent source of vitamin C. The inner bark was eaten fresh as a laxative by the Nusalk. The pitch was often chewed for pleasure and was also used as medicine for burns, boils, slivers and other skin irritations. Sitka spruce pitch also used as a medicine for gonorrhea, syphilis, colds, sore throats, internal swellings, rheumatism and toothaches. The roots of Sitka spruce were used to make beautifully twined water-tight hats and baskets, especially among the Haida, Tlingit and other northern coastal peoples. The roots were carefully pulled out from sandy ground in the early summer, briefly ‘cooked’ in the fire to prevent them from turning brown, then peeled, split and bundled for later use.

 

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