Trees to 30m; trunk to 2m diam.; crown conic. Bark gray-brown, scaly. Branches short and stout, the upper ascending, the lower drooping; twigs stout, reddish brown, usually glabrous. Buds reddish brown, 5--7mm, apex acute. Leaves 1--2.5cm, 4-angled in cross section, rigid, light to dark green, bearing stomates on all surfaces, apex blunt-tipped. Seed cones (10--)12--16cm; scales diamond-shaped, widest near middle, 18--30 ´ 15--20mm, thin and flexuous, margin at apex erose to toothed, apex extending 6--10mm beyond seed-wing impression. 2 n =24.
Norway spruce, native to Europe, has become locally naturalized, at least in north central United States (and adjacent Canada). The species is the most widely cultivated spruce in North America; many cultivars exist, including dwarf shrubs.