Recent genetic research indiactes that this taxon originally arose as a homoploid hybrid between Picea wilsonii and P. likiangensis during the Pleistocene.
This species yields high quality timber used for construction, furniture making, poles, machine and instrument making, including musical instruments, and to a limited extent for pulp in industrial manufacturing, e.g. paper. It was introduced to England early in the 20th century by Ernest Wilson and Joseph Rock and is commonly found growing in arboreta both in Europe and North America, but sometimes misidentified as P. likiangensis, or treated as a variety of it (for the U.K. presumably based on its treatment in Dallimore & Jackson's Handbook, 1966). According to Rushforth (1987) introductions by Wilson from western Sichuan grow to taller, more columnar trees than those from Rock's collections, originating from southern Gansu, where the climate is drier and colder in winter