Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Oceanspray is a moderately long-lived, moderately fast growing perennial shrub of the Rose family. It is native to western North America from British Columbia to southern California including areas of Montana, Colorado and Arizona. Multiple arching stems achieve 6 to 20 feet with the taller specimens found in shade or nearer the coast. The deciduous, alternate leaves are oval to triangular with deep veins and shallow lobes plus very fine teeth. They are green above and dull green beneath due to fine hairs and turn reddish in fall. Drooping, 4 to 7+ in. clusters of very small creamy white, sometimes pinkish flowers turn to beige then brown and often persist through winter. Fruit develops in mid to late summer and consists of five tiny, hairy, light yellow achenes (dry, one-seeded fruit) per flower. The bark is red-grey and peels from older stems.
Adaptation and Distribution: Oceanspray performs well in shade or full sun and is adapted to course, medium and fine textured soils with pH 5.0 to 7.5. Ranging from sea level to 7000 ft., this species has moderate drought tolerance and low fertility requirements. Oceanspray is abundant near the coast and common west of the Cascades where it often dominates the forest shrub layer. Remnant stands occur among higher peaks of Great Basin mountain ranges. Oceanspray habitat varies considerably and includes streambanks, the understory of moist woods, cutover timberland and dry rocky soils and talus slopes. For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.