Reopening

We are pleased to announce the reopening of the Arboretum de Versailles-Chèvreloup on monday March the 1st.

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Épicéas dans les Clairières des Conifères © MNHN - S. Gerbault

Spruce collection

Conifers, and particularly spruce, are one of Chèvreloup’s specialities.

National collection

We can enjoy the elegant conical silhouettes of the spruce and of their needles all year round. In addition to the Norway spruce found on our mountains, there are 33 species, which make up wa large part of the forests in the coldest regions of the northern hemisphere.
 
Several species, from which many cultivars (horticultural variety) have been produced, are used in the gardens. It’s interesting to observe the diversity of their habits and the colours of their foliage, from light green to grey and blue. The Norway spruce, with its many dwarf or creeping mutations, and the Serbian spruce, which is known for its naturally narrow habit, are particularly prized.

Cônes mâles d'Épicéa d'Orient (Picea orientalis) © MNHN - S. Gerbault
Cônes mâles d'Épicéa d'Orient (Picea orientalis) © MNHN - S. Gerbault

Chèvreloup’s collection of spruce (designated Collection nationale (National Collection)) was created from a systematic group of Conifers dating from the first plantations in the 1920s, which now form the Clairières des Conifères (Conifer Glades) area. It now consists of 275 trees, with around forty species and subspecies represented.
 
Horticultural species are not to be outdone, with 127 specimens representing 54 cultivars. While the majority of the plants can be found in the Clairières des Conifères, there is also a large number of them in the Dwarf Conifers area, and there are other specimens scattered around throughout the geographical areas.

Jeunes cônes de Picea brachytyla, un épicéa de Chine  © MNHN - S. Gerbault
Jeunes cônes d'Épicéa d'Orient (Picea orientalis) © MNHN - S. Gerbault
Jeune cône d'Épicéa commun (Picea abies) 'Cranstonii' © MNHN - S. Gerbault