Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor)
The brave and hearty, yet elegant Oceanspray offers a lesson to us all in adapting with grace. This pioneer native shrub is one of the first to take root after dramatic disturbances such as forest fires and clear-cutting. Furthermore, it endures in both sun and shade, as well as in dry and moist soils, making this deciduous shrub a favorable choice for nearly any landscape. Oceanspray, also commonly known as “Cream Bush”, decorates itself in large cascading plumes of creamy-white to lilac colored clusters of flowers. Its beauty endures through the seasons, as the flowers dry out and turn tannish with the cold weather and last through the winter.
This low-maintenance shrub requires minimal pruning and is not prone to pests or disease. Though Oceanspray asks for little, it provides in abundance, offering food and shelter for butterflies, birds, and beneficial insects. Coastal tribes of the region also once used its strong wood to craft arrows, digging tools, and sewing needles.
Caroline Boschetto, AmeriCorps Projects Coordinator, Community Agriculture Engagement