Holodiscus Discolor - Oceanspray

Holodiscus discolor - Oceanspray

Image Credit: The Wild Garden

Common name(s): Oceanspray, cream bush, California spiraea

General bloom time: May-July, bloom peaks in late June and early July 

Identification: deciduous shrub that can grow up to 7 feet tall; among the first shrubs to re-leaf in the spring

Flowers: large clusters (5 inches) of small, white, edible flowers that look similar to ocean foam; the flowers have a noticeable scent that is very sweet and agreeable from 20-30 feet away 

Habitat: partial shade and requires moist soil; often grows in areas of heavy rainfall

Ecology: Hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar. Chickadees and White crowned sparrows may forage in their branches. Pale swallowtails use this shrub as a source of nectar. Brown elfin caterpillars, as well as Spring azure and Lorquin's admiral caterpillars,  use this as a host plant.

Image Credit: The Wild Garden

Fun Facts:

-      Often used in place of baby’s breadth in bouquets

-      Used by first peoples to make arrows and small tools

-      Medicinal uses: blood purifier, ophthalmic, poultice and tonic

-      Often used to attract native butterflies