Holodiscus dumosus

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Holodiscus dumosus
Holodiscus dumosus1.jpg
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Holodiscus
Species: H. dumosus
Binomial name
Holodiscus dumosus
(Nutt. ex Hook.) A.Heller

Holodiscus dumosus is a species of flowering plant in the rose family known by the common names rockspiraea, bush oceanspray, mountain spray, and glandular oceanspray. It is native to North America, where it occurs in northern Mexico and the interior western United States.[1]


This plant is a deciduous shrub which can reach over 6 meters (20 ft) in height and 3 meters (9.8 ft) in width. The stems branch from the root crown and spread outward. The branches have shreddy bark and the smaller twigs may be slightly spiny. The leaves are up to 2.3 centimeters (0.91 in) long by 1.2 centimeters (0.47 in) wide.[1] They are lobed or toothed.[2] The inflorescence contains many tiny flowers, each about 2 millimeters long. They are insect-pollinated. The small seeds are dispersed by the wind. The plant reproduces by seed and by sprouting from its root crown.[1]


This shrub grows in the northern third of Mexico and in the United States as far north as Idaho. It occurs in the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin and the Southwest. It grows in many types of forest and shrubland habitat. For example, it is characteristic of and sometimes dominant in Douglas-fir, Ponderosa pine, and Arizona pine forests and woodlands. It is also common in oak woodland. It has been called "nearly ubiquitous" in many plant communities in Utah. In Arizona it occurs in the mountain wilderness of the sky islands such as the Chiricahua Mountains, sometimes in scree with Douglas-fir. In Nevada it is a component of quaking aspen and willow communities and sagebrush.[1]

The shrub tolerates a variety of soil types, as well as bare rock and rock fragments, such as crevices in cliffs and scree. It is drought-tolerant and survives in dry habitat, but it thrives in more moist locations, and can be found in wetter environments than its relative, creambush oceanspray. It can be found in cool, moist mountain forests in the central part of its range. It prefers sheltered locations that have less direct sunlight and wind. It anchors easily on steep slopes, and can grow on vertical topography, such as cliffs; it is a common plant in the Grand Canyon.[1]


Native Americans such as the Paiute and Shoshoni utilized this plant as medicine for problems such as stomachaches and colds.[3] Early white explorers used the wood to make nails.[1] The plant can be used as an ornamental.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Fryer, Janet L. 2010. Holodiscus dumosus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
  2. ^ a b Holodiscus dumosus. USDA International Institute for Tropical Forestry.
  3. ^ Holodiscus dumosus. University of Michigan Ethnobotany.

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