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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Gaultheria shallon Pursh
USDA Symbol: gash
Salal is a dense, robust, thicket-forming subshrub or shrub, from 1-4 ft. high, with erect or spreading, intricately branched stems which can root when reclining. The large, leathery, evergreen leaves are round to oval in shape and dull green becoming reddish in winter. A shrub-like plant with spreading or erect, hairy stems, often in large dense patches, and whitish to pale pink, urn-shaped flowers hanging along reddish or salmon racemes in upper leaf axils. Pendent, pink, urn-shaped flowers occur in racemes and are followed by dark-blue berries.
The berries are a source of food for wildlife and were once also eaten by coastal Native Americans, one group of whom, the Chinook, gave the plant its common name, Salal. The leaves are often used in flower arrangements.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Purple, Red, Blue Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
, WA Canada: BC Native Distribution:
Coastal areas from Santa Barbara Co., CA
to B.C. Native Habitat:
Coastal woods or brushy places below 2500 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist, peaty soil.
Conditions Comments: This plant must have summer fog or rain and shade. Direct summer sun causes scorch. This easy ground cover can become somewhat invasive.
Florists use the evergreen
branches in arrangements. Use Wildlife:
is a source of food for many animals. Deer browse on new leaves and berries, used as winter browse by deer as well. Use Food:
A staple food of NW coastal First Nations. Can be eaten fresh, cooked and dried. Salal makes excellent jelly. Conspicuous Flowers:
Birds , Butterflies , Hummingbirds Larval Host:
Larval host for brown elfin butterfly.
PropagationDescription: The tiny seeds germinate well. Best sown on milled sphagnum moss. Seedlings are slow-growing. Vegetative propagation, using cuttings of new wood taken in late summer, is a faster source of new material. Can also be propagated by layering.
Seed Collection: Collect in late summer or fall.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
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National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| FAC || FACU || FACU |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2011-04-18
Research By: TWC Staff