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What is Holodiscus?

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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Holodiscus is a perennial plant that belongs to the rosaceae family of plants. It is considered a shrub and it can be used as a bordering plant or as a garden accent. When it is placed in front of windows, it can be used as a privacy screen. This plant, which is also called an ocean spray, is native to Canada but it can also be found as far south as Bolivia and other parts of South America. The holodiscus is often refereed to as a cream bush because it produces tiny white flowers.

The ocean spray plant can grow to reach 12 feet (around three meters). Throughout most of the year, dark green leaves are seen on the sturdy, thin branches. These leaves have a triangular shape and are also deeply veined. In mid summer, the plant drastically changes when the blooms start to appear. Branches and leaves are taken over by clusters of white flowers.

Flowers that appear on the holodiscus plant grow from the shrub’s branches and cascade downward in a series of clusters. Secondary stems produce blooms that grow in a horizontal direction. The blooms are an off-white to white color and closely resemble baby’s breath. Holodiscus flowers are often used in floral arrangements and bouquets. They also have a strong sweet fragrance, as does the bark of the tree, especially in the fall.

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This plant is considered hardy and it is able to live in temperatures that go below five degrees Fahrenheit (around 20 Celsius). During the winter months, the leaves and bark can turn a golden to lighter red color. In the hot summer months, the leaves can become gray on the bottom. The holodiscus can also be used as a holistic remedy.

Extracts of the leaves and flowers of the holodiscus plant are thought to cure many illnesses. For example, Native American Indians used holodiscus to help with certain skin conditions and blood disorders. Ointments were made from the extract to help ease sore feet or lips. The bark and wood of this shrub were used to make weapons and furniture.

An ocean spray plant should be kept in an area that receives direct sunlight for most of the day. It only requires minimal watering and is tolerant of most soil types. The holodiscus plant can be either grown form a seed or from wood cuttings. If it is grown from seed, it should be allowed to fully mature before placing it outdoors.

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