Holodiscus discolor - cream bush, Ocean spray


Ocean spray (Holodiscus discolor) is a round bush reaching about 2m, with small creamy white, sweetly smelling flowers in summer. The large flower clusters hang from the tips of curving branches, and supposedly bring to mind, as the common name suggests, ocean spray. The flower clusters remain on the shrub after flowering, turning gradually creamy-yellow, and continue to provide decoration long after the autumn leaves have passed through wine-red and orange autumn colours and fallen.

Ocean spray grows naturally in the western parts of the USA and Canada. Here in Finland it grows best in warmth and sunshine, on moist but not wet soils, protected from spring frosts. At Mustila light conifer forest and fairly nutrient-poor stony soil have proved suitable. The roots are close to the surface so the soil must not be allowed to become too dry.

California provenances are unlikely to be hardy in Finland so seed should be collected in the most continental parts of its range, such as Montana or inland areas of British Columbia.


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