Holodiscus / Oceanspray
Common Name: Oceanspray
Holodiscus discolor, commonly known oceanspray, is a native shrub found throughout the western United States and Canada. Its abundant, midsummer flower clusters and ability to adapt to a wide range of soil types, moisture and sun exposure makes oceanspray a popular ornamental for roadway and landscape plantings and an important host for beneficial insects. As a common understory species, oceanspray provides cover for numerous birds, small mammals and treefrogs.
Western United States and British Columbia
Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor) is commercially available through native plant and selected conventional nurseries in appropriate growing regions. This hardy plant species is tolerant of wide moisture regimes and soil types, and does well in both sun and shade.
Full sun, partial shade, shade
Moist to dry
Holodiscus discolor (oceanspray) is the only species of Holodiscus that is commonly referred to as oceanspray. It occurs throughout the western United States and Canada, with greatest size and abundance along the Pacific coast. As a shrub, oceanspray typically grows from 6 to 12 feet, but can reach heights of 20 feet near the Pacific coast or when grown in shade. During its long flowering season (May-August), oceanspray sports a mass of tiny, fragrant, creamy-white flowers arranged in large, plumed clusters. These flowers are a magnet for many pollinators, including bees, wasps, syrphid flies and butterflies (swallowtail, azure and admiral). Oceanspray is tolerant of many soil, water and light conditions, making it ideal for any garden landscape within its native range. Its beautiful creamy white flowers and dense foliage will also attract a variety of birds to the garden.
Holodiscus dumosus (rockspirea) is the only other species of Holodiscus, native to North America. Sometimes referred to as 'glandular oceanspray,' rockspirea is smaller and more bush-like than oceanspray, typically achieving no more than 7 feet in height. It occurs on dry, rocky cliffs and hillsides in the western United States but is absent from the Pacific coast states. Where naturally occurring, it appears as a low, branched, spreading shrub which grows in lava, pumice and volcanic ash soils. It produces sprays of pinkish-white flowers, in June, July and August, attracting pollinators and other wildlife. It is commercially available in appropriate growing regions.