Holodiscus discolor (Oceanspray)


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Plant Description: A deciduous shrub with arching stems and a spreading fashion. The bark in older shrubs is brownish and peels away from trunks. The green leaves are pyramid to egg shaped with many small lobes on the margins each ending in a sharp tip. Leaves turn red in the fall. The dry, one-seeded fruit is small and hairy.  

Flowers are great for bouquets and usually bloom in July. The drooping 4-8 in lilac-like cluster is composed of multitudes of tiny creamy white flowers giving off a pleasant fragrance from a distance. The flowers turn to beige then brown and often persist through winter.

  • Height: Up to 12 ft
  • Width: Up to 6 ft
  • Watering needs: Consistent moisture
  • Sun needs: Partial shade or dappled light is best
  • Soil needs: Moist, well-draining soil
  • Bloom Time: May-July
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This plant is native to Western North America at elevations under 5900 ft in dry to moist habitats, such as upland open woods, canyon bottoms, and stream banks. It is also found in disturbed areas especially where fire has been. We recommend planting in food forests, meadowscapes, rain gardens, and woodland gardens.

This plant is a butterfly host and attracts other pollinators as well. It provides cover and food for numerous birds and small wildlife. 

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