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.
In Native American cultures, oceanspray flowers and leaves have a variety of medicinal properties and practical uses. The wood is very hard, and is traditionally 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
- Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
- Edible: No
- Mature Height: 8-10ft
- Mature Width: 3-7ft