Description from Flora of China
Picea abies (Linnaeus) H. Karsten subsp. obovata (Ledebour) Hulten; P. abies var. obovata (Ledebour) Lindquist; P. excelsa (Lamarck) Link var. obovata (Ledebour) Blytt; P. vulgaris Link var. altaica Teplouchov.
Trees to 40 m tall; trunk to 1 m d.b.h.; bark dark gray, irregularly flaking; crown pyramidal; branchlets yellow or pale brown-yellow, turning gray or dull gray, initially with dense glandular hairs, later puberulent; winter buds pale brown-yellow, conical, resinous, scales slightly recurved at base of branchlets. Leaves directed forward on upper side of branchlets, spreading on lower side, quadrangular-linear, ± curved, quadrangular or broadly rhombic in cross section, 1.3-2.3 cm × ca. 2 mm, stomatal lines 5-7 along each surface adaxially and 4 or 5 along each surface abaxially, apex acute. Seed cones purple or dark purple, rarely green when young, maturing brown, ovoid-cylindric or cylindric, 5-11 × 2-3 cm. Seed scales at middle of cones cuneate-obovate, convex, 1.8-2.1 × 1.5-1.8 cm, exposed part nearly smooth, sometimes slightly striate, distal margin entire, rounded, or truncate-rounded. Seeds dark brown, triangular-obovoid, ca. 5 mm; wing obovate-oblong, 9-11 mm. Pollination May, seed maturity Sep-Oct.
A vulnerable species in China. The timber is used for construction, carving, poles, and wood pulp; tannin is extracted from the bark.
Mountains, slopes, river basins, valleys; 1200-1800 m. Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia]