Medium to tall shrub, 1-4 m tall; stems slender, erect to ascending, usually arching, hairy, the young stems ridged, older ones with reddish-grey, peeling bark.
Alternate, deciduous, dull green, egg-shaped to broadly triangular, 3-6 (10) cm long, coarsely toothed or shallowly pinnately lobed, often with minute, abruptly pointy-tipped, secondary teeth, squared-off to wedge-shaped at the base, on stalks 10-15 mm long, the upper surface green and coarse-hairy to smooth, the lower surface paler, strongly veined and soft-hairy.
Inflorescences diffuse, terminal, pyramidal, somewhat drooping clusters 10-17 cm long, of numerous small (3-5 mm across), short-stalked flowers; corollas white to cream, the petals 5, oval, 1.5-2 mm long; calyces deeply 5-lobed, the lobes about 1.5 mm long, short-hairy on the outer surface; ovaries superior, hairy; stamens about 20.
Achenes, 5, tiny (about 2 mm long), light brown, long-stiff-hairy; fruit clusters turning brown and remaining on the plants over the winter.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present from Summer to Fall
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|BG(1), CDF(175), CWH(43), ICH(267), IDF(192), MS(9), PP(16)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Holodiscus boursieri (Carr.) Rehd.
Holodiscus discolor subsp. franciscanus (Rydb.) Taylor & MacBryde
Holodiscus discolor var. ariaefolius (Sm.) Asch. & Graebn.
Holodiscus discolor var. delnortensis Ley
Holodiscus discolor var. franciscanus (Rydb.) Jepson
Holodiscus discolor var. glabrescens (Greenm.) Jepson
Holodiscus dumosus subsp. saxicola (A. Heller) Abrams
Holodiscus dumosus var. australis (A. Heller) Ley
Holodiscus dumosus var. glabrescens (Greenm.) C.L. Hichc.
Holodiscus glabrescens (Greenm.) A. Heller
Holodiscus microphyllus Rydb.
Holodiscus microphyllus var. glabrescens (Greenm.) Ley
Holodiscus microphyllus var. microphyllus Rydb. [superfluous autonym]
Holodiscus microphyllus var. sericeus Ley
Holodiscus microphyllus var. typicus Ley
Sericotheca discolor (Pursh) Rydb.
Spiraea discolor Pursh