Oceanspray

Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor)
Holodiscus discolor

Oceanspray is native to western North America. It is most common in the mountainous Pacific Northwest. This fast-growing deciduous shrub reaches 5 m tall. Its leaves are small, 5-9 cm long and 4-7 cm broad, toothed, juicy green when new. Cascading clusters of white flowers drooping from the branches give the plant two of its common names, oceanspray and creambush. The flowers have a faint sugary scent. It bears a small, hairy fruit containing one seed which is light enough to be dispersed by wind.

Oceanspray is found in a variety of habitats, from wet coastal forests to drier, cooler mountain peaks further inland. It often grows in areas dominated by Douglas-fir. The plant is found in areas prone to wildfire, such as chaparral communities. It is often the first green shoot to spring up in an area recovering from a burn or logging.

It will thrive in a sunny or part-sunny garden, growing numerous arching branches with stems terminating in white flowers.

Oceanspray flowers and leaves have a variety of medicinal properties and practical uses. The wood is very hard, and is used for both furniture and small hand tools.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads:
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 8-10ft
  • Mature Width: 3-7ft