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Similar but less problematic plants:
Hedera helix Hedera helix
Native alternative(s) for Gaultheria shallon:
Vaccinium macrocarpon Vaccinium macrocarpon
Vaccinium pallidum Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Vaccinium crassifolium Vaccinium crassifolium
Gaultheria procumbens Gaultheria procumbens
Vaccinium pallidum Form

Salal Gaultheria shallon

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
gol-THEER-ee-uh SHAL-lon
Description

Salal is an evergreen shrub in the heather family that is native to western North America and will develop thickets that make a good bird habitat. It is found as an understory shrub in the coastal NW at lower elevations. The form is erect to prostrate and stems root if growing on the ground.

The leathery, glossy green oval leaves are evergreen and are used by florists in flower arrangements. The clusters of drooping urn-shaped white-to-pinkish flowers appear in spring to early summer and are followed by purple berries that are eaten by birds.

This shrub grows in partial to full shade in moist acidic soils but is adaptable to other sites. It may not be a good choice for the east due to our very different growing conditions. Use as a ground cover in shady to partly shady naturalized woodland sites.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heavy shade#wildlife plant#berries#deer browsing plant#thickets#blue fruits#edible fruits#cutting garden#evergreen shrub#cut leaves#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#understory shrub#birds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heavy shade#wildlife plant#berries#deer browsing plant#thickets#blue fruits#edible fruits#cutting garden#evergreen shrub#cut leaves#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#understory shrub#birds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gaultheria
    Species:
    shallon
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used extensively in the floral industry for long lasting greenery in bouquets.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Alaska to western U.S.A.
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host for brown elfin butterfly. Birds and mammals eat the berries, deer browse the leaves.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Screening
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    Fruits can be used in jams and jellies or eaten raw but are rather bland.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are small, hairy, rough-surfaced blue-black round berries. Birds love them.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Urn
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Description:
    One-side raceme of drooping urn-shaped white-to-pinkish flowers in spring to early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Rhomboidal
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-4” long x 1-3” wide thick shiny deep green leaves with bristly serrate margins. They are oval to round in shape. Undersides rough and lighter in color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Bark Description:
    Grayish-brown mature bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Young shoots are red. Mature bark and twigs are grayish-brown and smooth.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Shade Garden
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade