Holodiscus discolor “Oceanspray” Rosaceae

Mt. Sentinel, Lolo National Forest, MT
September 12, 2015
Robert Niese

Oceanspray is one of my favorite plants here in the PNW. It’s a modest-sized shrub that grows foamy white inflorescences that brighten up nearly all open hillsides west of the Rocky Mountains in the spring. These inflorescences are long-lived and fade to a creamy beige that contrasts nicely with their rich green foliage throughout the summer. In the fall, Oceanspray leaves begin changing early in the season and progress through a rainbow of colors until becoming a uniform maroon-scarlet after the first frosts of October. These plants have a very tough wood that is resistant to fire and are regularly the first plants to recolonize areas following a burn.