This graceful shrub has soft scalloped leaves and creamy white sprays of flowers. It is happily in bloom right now, and a fun one for drive-by botanizing since it thrives on roadside banks. Usually oceanspray (or cream bush, aka Holodiscus discolor) is a medium-sized shrub, but on exposed hills it can become a low-growing mat, according to the Marin Flora.
This is a good one for gardens since it can grow in a wide range of soils from wetlands to dry and well-drained. The beautiful flowers with their many long stamens are typical of its family, the Rosaceae or rose family. This big clan contains a wide spectrum of species from cherries and plums to roses to silverweed. It’s one of the biggest plant families there is.