Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ocean Spray (Holodiscus Discolor)

There's a beautiful shrub I really like called ocean spray. I put this series of pictures of ocean spray together in a post last year, but never finished it, so I'm going to go ahead and add a few words and publish it now while ocean spray is in bloom so you can keep your eye out for it.  We see it a lot on our walks, and we even have some in our yard.

Here's a little info from wikipedia:
Holodiscus discolor, commonly known as ocean spray, creambush or ironwood, is a shrub of western North America. It is common in the Pacific Northwest where it is found in both openings and the forest understory at low to moderate elevations.
Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database describes ocean spray so beautifully. . .
The leaves, lobed and triangular, are ¾” – 2 ½” long.The flowering habits of this plant are very distinct. First the flower buds form – dense, cream-colored clusters of tiny droplets. Then lacy masses of fragrant flowers bloom for many weeks between May and July. The seeds form from the brownish, dried flowers and persist throughout the autumn and well into the winter.
The Native Plant Salvage Foundations' website has a great article on ocean spray. They share the following information about the plant's name:
Oceanspray is part of the widespread, diverse Rose Family (Rosaceae) that brings us plants with large flowers and fleshy fruits as well as tiny flowers and dry fruits. The scientific name is Holodiscus discolor. “Holodiscus” is from the Greek, meaning “entire disk,” and is a technical reference to a section of the flower below the pistil. “Discolor” means “two-colored” and refers to the leaves being green above and hairy-grey below. The common name “oceanspray” is clearly derived from the profusion of flower clusters that resemble the creamy-white spray of crashing waves.
And its flowers really do resemble the spray of crashing waves!

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6/30/11
(above picture taken by my older son)

6/23/11
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9/1/10

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