Picea omorika – symbol of Tara mountain


Do you know what Tara is famous for, aside from the beautiful lookouts, lakes, untouched nature? The answer is- Picea omorika. Thanks to its decorative shape and the fact that the tree only grows to be about 4 m wide, it has become one of the most popular Picea. It is also one of the most attractive spruces.

Picea omorika, also known as Serbian spruce (in Serbian: Pančićeva omorika) is a tall, slender conifer. It grows naturally only in a very small area on the borders of Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro, at altitudes between 1000-1500m above sea level. It was originally discovered near the village of Zaovine on the Tara Mountain in 1875 and named by the Serbian botanist Josif Pančić.


The finest spruce in Europe

First of all, Picea omorika is of considerable scientific interest. It is, besides, one of the finest spruces in Serbia. Naturally, the tree grows in the mountains of cool, temperate mixed forests. It occurs on steep, rocky slopes in elevations between 800-1500 m, on limestone and serpentine soils. If grown in too much shade the tree becomes thin and leggy and will not thrive

With its distinct, narrow crown, the tree is easy to recognize in forest stands. Also, it has specific branches, which are thin and graceful. Its attractive appearance attracts the attention of many. Ask any conifer enthusiast to list his favorite spruce. Chances are good that Picea omorika will take first or second place. Another way of recognizing it is the color of the needles. The lower surface is shiny silvery, easily visible when the ends of the branches turn gracefully upwards.


Seed cones are pendant and about 5 – 6 cm long. Young seed cones are violet-red-brown.

As it starts into growth late, spring frosts can not damage it and will grow well on acid as well as calcareous soils. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more. This is a relatively low maintenance tree and has no significant negative characteristics. It is very adaptable, too.

Importance and usage of Picea omorika

The wood of Picea omorika is a technical wood since it has good quality. It was also ideal for special kinds of pots for cheese.


As a building material, its timber was mostly for roof construction. It has a high tolerance for pollution. This is why people use it more than other conifers in cities with high levels of it. Serbian spruce deserves much more prominent place in commercial and residential landscapes.

People use it in groups, as a single specimen. Even as an evergreen street tree. It is suitable even for small urban landscapes. Today there are many cultivars of this species in nursery gardens and grown in parks.

If you want to see this beautiful species in person, visit Tara. However, now is not the ideal time for traveling according to the opinion of many. You can still take a look at our offer and make a trip plan for some time in the future. We advise you to follow the current situation of the epidemic in Serbia here.



Leave a Reply