My palate recognizes them as grape-like with an earthy and complex undertone. It can rapidly colonize open areas, Distribution: Salal is found along the Pacific coast from Southeast Alaska to central California, mostly on the west side of the Cascade Mountains and along the California coast. Thank you for the information and inspiration. Most notable is its eastern relative, Wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens, a popular groundcover for shade; the traditional source for Wintergreen flavoring. Salal leaf has a long history as a medicine for wounds, coughs, colds, and digestive problems. The fruit is eaten by many kinds of birds and mammals including the Douglas Squirrel. Am wondering if people commonly make salal wine. Salal is a residual species which persists on many types of newly Both are small prostrate shrubs. campus: west of Milam Hall. Stems are long-lasting when cut and are a valued addition to floral arrangements. Sometimes our most common plants, the ones we barely notice, are our best everyday medicines. For medicine, gather green healthy looking leaves in spring to summer. Fit parchment paper over a cookie sheet with sides. Salal competes vigorously with conifer regeneration in Pour blended berries onto the sheet and use a spatula to smooth them out to an even consistency of about a quarter inch. Its genus name comes from Dr. Hugues Jean Gaulthier, a Canadian Botanist and Physician. Family - Ericaceae (heath). Difficult to transplant. Danica. Salal season will be rolling around again soon! In the WFDP: Salal is susceptible to suppression-induced mortality in this energy-limited system. salal Ericaceae Gaultheria Hi Thomas. Form: An evergreen shrub that varies in height depending on light. Fire effects: The shade-tolerant salal appears well able to persist under a regime of Close by, they saw a huge pile of bear poop. Here is the special thing about salal it has great preservative power. Flora of North America North of Mexico. et al (Editors). organic mat typically generate adventitious roots. Many berry pickers say that they are accustomed with sharing the harvest with other creatures. Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera). Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Diagnostic Characters: Its oval-shaped, leathery, evergreen leaves are about 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) long and about 1-3 inches (3-7 cm) wide. the large numbers that germinate. I would wait until spring when the leaves are very new and sticky to harvest them and infuse them in oil for balm. some locations. Habitat: It is one of the most common understory shrubs in our second-growth coniferous forests. It is easy to make and lasts for a year or more. Subclass - Dilleniidae. Other mammals that feed on the fruit include red squirrel, Townsend's chipmunk, Douglas' squirrel, and black bear. Leaves are ovate to ovate-elliptic, sharply serrulate, and 5-10 cm in length. opportunistic survival in changing canopy gaps. Hummingbirds feed on the flowers. The fruits of Tea-berry were eaten fresh or made into sauces, or jellies by the Hoh and Quileute tribes. Leaves leathery and glabrous, alternate, elliptic to ovate, 5-9 cm long and 3-5 cm broad, finely toothed. Hope it still works! Pop the berries off by pinching them with your thumb and pointer finder instead of trying to pull them off. Gently rinse in a colander if the berries are dusty. Duplicates counted once; synonyms included. It will probably take 2-4 days to dry completely, so bring the berries in at night to prevent them from gathering dew.

I prefer to use about one-third to one-half salal berries to other types of tasty berries such as thimbleberry, strawberry, wild blackberry, huckleberry, or blueberry. 1994. Do you know if this would be an effective method of extracting its healing properties? Salal generally sprouts from the roots, rhizomes, or stem base after Twig: New twigs green to red and covered with short hairs, older twigs grayish brown and smooth. Reprinted with permission of the University of Washington Press. Capsule berry-like, surrounded by persistent calyx, globose, fleshy, bluish-black, 6-10 mm in diameter. Pernettya, Gaultheria mucronata, is an evergreen shrub native to South America. belowground by several meters of rhizomes. If there are flies or bugs, you can put cheesecloth over the berries. Flowers urn-shaped, white or pinkish, borne in late spring. aboveground vegetation is damaged or consumed by fire. Fruits are covered with tiny hairs and Subkingdom - Tracheobionta (vascular plants). as a ground cover on erosive banks, roadcuts, highway right-of-ways, and Fun Facts:Salal fruits are edible, and were historically eaten by aboriginal people of the Pacific Northwest. I just moved here last year and found The cakes were dried on cedar boards or skunk cabbage leaves (also called Indian wax paper). I was afraid to eat salal berries after that. Berries can be eaten fresh, added to smoothies, pies, jam, fruit leather, and any other creative recipes you might conjure up. Its the greatest plant on earth and it was interesting to learn how to turn the berries into fruit leather. Black-tailed deer, mule deer browse on this shrub. the plant commonly survive even when aboveground vegetation is consumed Sun Drying: If it is hot and dry (this very rarely happens in Olympia), place the pan in the full sun, preferably in a windy spot. stolons has also been reported. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. Habeck, R. J. by fire. Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA. Patrick Breen, Habitat: Forest understory and edge marine headlands, from sea level to moderate elevation in the mountains. Flora of North America It was yummy, sweet and earthy. Wetland designation: FACU, Facultative upland, it usually occurs in non-wetland but is occasionally found in wetlands. Stems are branched and are covered with stiff or soft hairs. The white, pink or Evidence suggests that seeds consumed by bears may germinate more densely branched shrub often forms dense, nearly impenetrable thickets. thick and leathery. New York and Oxford. Stems which are forced into the Growth: Salal grows slowly, but will grow to over 6 ft (2m) in shady conditions. B.C. The easiest way to harvest is to pull the entire pink stem of berries off, place them in a bag or basket, and then process them all at once. Hitchcock, C. Leo, and Arthur Cronquist. blackberries wild poisonous mmm Long fire-free intervals are common in Burke Museum. Ha ha! Skunk cabbage is also called Indian wax paper and it does not impart its strong smell onto food at all. Genus - Gaultheria L. Species - Gaultheria shallon Pursh. *All photographs on this site were taken by Dana, Edmund or Sky Bressette unless otherwise noted. Vascular Plants, Macrofungi, & Lichenized Fungi of Washington. Hi there. Other Names: salaxbupt, Makah. I only have frozen, picked earlier in the summer; they are not so good now. Vancouveria hexandra. Plants in the sun usually grow only to about 3 ft (1m). 1992. Erect or spreading evergreen shrub to 2 m tall; stems 50-200 cm, younger twigs glandular, older stems becoming glabrous. Salal, a backdrop in Northwest woodlands, is so common that many people barely notice it. Sun or part shade, acid soils, good companion for rhododendron and ferns. Photo credit: Rod Gilbert 2006, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Oven Method: Place the berries in the oven on the lowest temperature (usually about 170 degrees) and leave the oven cracked so that water can evaporate off the berries. Leaves:Leaves are alternate, egg-shaped, 5-10 cm long. University of Washington. Modern Brush-pickers collect Salal and Evergreen Huckleberry foliage for the florist trade; although most ask permission before collecting on private property, some have been known to trespass in order to sell the valuable greenery to wholesalers. Oregon State Univ. After making the fruit leather, do you store in fridge or freezer or does it keep at room temp? Place berries in a blender and blend until smooth. Pendant, urn-shaped flowers are white to pink. USDA Plants Database (Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence). Leaves alternate, simple, oval-rounded, glossy bright green, 5-10 cm long, bristly serrate. Although I tend to go to other medicines for specific conditions, salal is effective and easy to come by. Even so, it is better to plant container-grown nursery stock with intact underground stems and root systems. 2016 [Online]. More photos of Gaultheria shallon in CalPhotos. Environ., Lands and Parks, and B.C. Add honey to sweeten and a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice to bring out flavor. forests of the Northwest. Habitat:Salal is found in woods, mainly coniferous forests, also rocky buttes. Salal is one of our most common and most overlooked berries. You can also make beautiful little berry cakes in a traditional Salish manner by drying them on skunk cabbage leaves. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Volumes 1 to 8. Seedlings grow slowly and require 2-3 years to produce a saleable plant. Taxonomy: Kingdom - Plantae (plants). You can store fruit leather in the fridge but I have also left it out at room temperature as long as it is relatively dry. Propagation: Seeds germinate readily but require at least 8 hours of light each day to sprout. Min. This loosely to BTW my blackberry Salal jam is always a hit and it is yummy with cheese or chicken. If you have to leave, simply turn your oven off and place the fruit leather in a warm spot in the house with cheesecloth or a paper towel over it.

This is how my friends in British Columbia do it and they have great stories about its healing properties. I grew up in the NW and have snacked on salal for many years but had no idea of their health benefits. Although often slow to establish, in time it will aggressively fill in and develop into large patches of verdant foliage. Most biomass is concentrated below ground and an extensive, but Hang in a dry warm place out of sunlight. Low to medium elevations. them all over our yard. shallon Pursh Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. Photographers retain of all photos. Ecology:Salal is eaten by many animal species. The PLANTS Database. They are evergreen, leathery, thick and shiny, with sharp or fine teeth. The berries of this plant, which can be in shades of white, pink, red, rose, purple, or nearly black, all have an interesting metallic sheen. I have found that if I mix about a third salal berries with other berries the fruit leather dries much faster and is less likely to spoil. E-Flora BC: Gaultheria shallon atlas page. I make natural body care products and thinking about infusing salal leaf in oil to use as a balm. Asexual regeneration - Additional expansion of existing clones occurs They are ripe during late summer usually August and September. The Samish and Swinomish People have used the leaves for coughs and tuberculosis, while the Quinault People have used them for diarrhea and flu-like symptoms. Wild-dug Salal does not transplant well. Ive been enjoying snacking from a rich selection of wild berries in a nearby forest this year. You may be on one side of the patch, while the bears are on the other. Identification:Salal is a creeping to upright shrub. Vancouver B.C., Lone Pine Publishing. Pojar, J. I tasted my first salal berry this summer, after growing up amongst these bushes and never knowing that the berries were edible. Douglas, G.W. They are purplish and 6-10 mm broad. USDA Plants: Gaultheria shallon information. After the berries are mostly dried turn them over. through spreading roots and rhizomes in the absence of disturbance. Plants grow to 5 feet tall. This article about salal berries and leaves is very helpful. Ministry of Forestry and Lone Pine Publishing. 1993+. Use by wildlife: Deer and Elk eat Salal foliage, mostly in the winter. Im going to try eating some again after reading your article. significantly reduce the basal area and stocking of Douglas-fir Sold by florists as "lemon leaves". Initial seedling growth is slow. Gaultheria shallon. poor under natural conditions. Salal is an erect to spreading, clonal evergreen shrub or subshrub which in Douglas-fir-western hemlock forests and in coastal western hemlock Admittedly, they are not quite as delicious as thimbleberries, huckleberries, and other Northwest favorites, but they are readily available and have good flavor. Fruit ripens July to September. Flowers:Flower are urn-shaped, white to pinkish, and in terminal racemes in groups of 5 - 15. When it is the consistency of fruit leather, cut the berry sheet into strips and store in plastic bags to prevent it from drying out completely. disturbed sites.

Leaves are thick, dark green on top, and waxy. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Salal(Gaultheria shallon) | My Food And Flowers. deep-rose tinged flowers are sticky and glandular. Had some recently and loved the flavour and the aroma! Relationships: There are about 175 species of Gaultheria worldwide but only about six in North America. Distribution of Salal from USDA Plants Database. Flower: Perfect, small (1/4 inch), urn-shaped, pink to white, and borne in elongated clusters, appearing in early summer. Height is extremely variable, ranging from 0.2 - 5 m tall. Even if the plant survives, it may take several years before you may witness any new growth. Taste the berries before you gather them, and if they do not suit you, try traveling to a different bush. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. This mirrors salal berrys qualities as a powerful preservative. Seeds are dispersed by a variety of birds and mammals. Cut stems and bundle them with rubber bands. It spreads by sprouting from underground stems. Salal sprouts prolifically after disturbances which For., Victoria, B.C. Citation for this treatment: Walter S. Judd 2012, Gaultheria shallon, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) In general, the nutrient-demanding Sitka Web site contents, including text, Burke Museum; all rights reserved. Its common name, Prickly Heath refers to its small leaves with pointed leaf tips. Hybridization of these two species sometimes occurs naturally producing a plant with intermediate characteristics. Spring flowers look like little white bells and are slightly sticky and hairy. Love your article. Im excited to try fruit leather and tea now. Salal is described as a woody survivor of fire. Next year I plan on doing some experimenting! with western redcedar. 2016. It looks much like a smaller Salal, but has fleshy, red-purple berries. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture soil. Identifying Salal: Salal is an evergreen shrub that grows in lush thickets in both evergreen forests and in sunny areas where there is moisture and good drainage. many climax coastal coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. damage or remove aboveground plant parts, and expands Fruit: Small (1/4 inch), round, bluish-black berries, edible. He states in his. USFS Plant Database Its edible, dark-purple berries are actually fleshy sepals. When the leaves are crackly when crushed, strip them off the branches and store them in a glass jar or plastic bag for later use. In the Landscape: Salal is very versatile in the landscape and should be included in almost any natural revegetation project. Each fruit Continue drying as you can. Flavor varies from delicious to bland and boring, depending on soil and sun conditions. subterminal bracteate racemes. Ruffed, spruce, and blue grouse and band-tailed pigeon eat the berries. Hi, starting my career as a salal berry picker processor in my yard in Kalama! On moist sites, this shrub commonly competes with I watch The Legend of Mick Dodge and salal was mentioned for many uses. Manyspecies of songbirds feed on the fruit when available. Thanks! often made up of several individual aboveground shoots connected I use them as a base in making fruit leather one of our favorite family snacks. Salal and Evergreen Huckleberry are important greens for the floral industry. Broadleaved evergreen shrub, less than 2 ft (0.6 m) tall in full sun and poor soil, but 4-10 ft (1.2-3 m) in shade and good soil, nearly equal spread, dense, developing into thickets, branches erect.

Gaulnettya Wisley Pearl is a hybrid of Salal and Pernettya discovered at the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley England. Herbalist, Michael Moore mirrors Northwest Native Peoples uses of salal in Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West when he says that, The tea is astringent and anti-inflammatory, both locally to the throat and upper intestinal mucosa, and through the bloodstream, to the urinary tract, sinuses, and lungs. You can imagine that this would be useful for a wide variety of ailments including coughs, diarrhea, gastritis, colic, or bladder irritation. other types of reclaimed ground. readily than uneaten seeds. Seed dispersal - Salal flowers are pollinated by insects such as bees and flies. A group of gatherers at Quinault reservation noticed an area of bushes where the berries had been removed. The paper thin bark is shed (I think) once a year and all you have to do is pour boiling water over it to make a delicious a Madrone bark tea that has a FLAVOR LIKE CINNAMON/Fruity taste! In full sun, it forms dense, low thickets 1 to 3 feet high. from the stem base. WTU Herbarium Image Collection, Plants of Washington, Burke Museum, E-Flora BC, Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia, USDA Forest Service-Fire Effects Information System, Native Plants Network, Propagation Protocol Database, Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn. Fruit:Salal produces a capsule that is berry-like. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. contains an average of 126 brown, reticulate seeds approximately 1 mm in length. Twigs change angles between each node, giving a distinctive zig-zag appearance. fleshy outer calyx. One day I ate quite a few salal berries along with other berries and later experienced diahrea. Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. relatively infrequent fires. Thanx! And Im planning to dry some leaves for medicine, and perhaps to make some fruit leather. Class - Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons). Small, urn-shaped flowers are borne in showy clusters on terminal and **Use of articles and photos on this site is permitted for educational purposes only. Thanks for this Elise. Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual 1973. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 21, 2022. Shallon is the name commonly used in Britain where it was introducedit is derived from its native name, Salal. 1998-2002. variable network of roots and rhizomes occupies the top layer of WA Flora Checklist: Gaultheria shallon checklist entry. It is very useful along roadsides and highways. reddish brown to grayish brown and longitudinally scaly. spruce is most harmed by competition with sala, but salal can also Berries are a dull blue-black color when ripe and are also slightly hairy. Hummingbirds will visit Salal flowers. Carefully peel the old parchment paper off and let the other side dry. Fruit, 1 cm rounded, black, ripen in summer, edible but bland. Seedling establishment/growth - Potential for reproduction from seed appears University of Washington. PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Gaultheria shallon in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database. Seedling establishment may be limited So I made jam and love it. seedlings on some sites. Humans are not the only ones to enjoy salal berries. Underground portions of Just read this in the nick of time for ourWild Tasting station at Harvest Fest in Sechelt, BC. B.C. David Douglas (17991834), the famous Scottish plant explorer, on April 8, 1826, after a nearly 9 month voyage from England, stepped on to land at Baker Bay not far from the mouth of the Columbia River. CPN (Certified Plant Nerd), College of Agricultural Sciences - Department of Horticulture, USDA Hardiness Zone Maps of the United States, Oregon Master Gardener Training: Identifying Woody Plants. Vancouver, B.C. Min. Layering, rooting at the stem nodes, and spread through through layering, sprouting of rhizomes, root suckering, and sprouting, Rosa Nutkana & Rosa Gymnocarpa Native Rose, According to Erna Gunther in Ethnobotany of Western Washington, the Lower Chinook Peoples salal loaves weighed as much as 10-15 pounds! Bark: Seldom seen because of thicket-forming nature of salal.

Salal plants are Sprouts profusely from rhizomes. They were a staple food that could be mashed, dried into cakes, and then stored and eaten in the winter months. Many people preferred to rehydrate the cakes in water or dip them into seal, whale, or eulachon oil. Ecology: Salal grows in early seral to climax stands I had to eat one. Predominantly found at lower elevations due to its frost sensitivity. OH Yes Fabulous Write Up about these berry s & Yes I Have Eaten & Made tea Out the Leave s too, Thank s for Posting, Thank you for sharing this! & A. MacKinnon. Carefully peel off the parchment paper and continue drying until it reaches a dry yet pliable consistency. Posted by Elise on Aug 7, 2012 in Blog, Media | 15 comments. Salal berries are high in antioxidants and they dry really well. They are 7-10 mm long. Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California. Make sure you leave the extra bark spread out in a warm place to dry out thoroughly so it wont go moldy, before you store it for future cups of tea. They are mealier than other berries, but can get really juicy if they are growing in the right conditions. particularly on undisturbed soil and appears well adapted for While this helps speed up the drying process, it also compromises nutrients like Vitamin C in the berries. Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Birds attracted to the fruit. One man recounted a story of watching the largest bear he had ever seen eating salal in that same area. The shiny dark green, alternate leaves are 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 21, 2022. USDA, NRCS. I made wine one year and it was awful took two years to get the smell out of my nose must have done something wrong! Salal is still a beloved berry among many native families and I know several people who make delicious salal jam. Before making tea, crush or cut the leaves. If you live in the Pacific NW, Do not miss out on the WONDERFUL Madrone BARK TEA!! Thank for all the information on it. In shadier environments it is much more spindly, reaching 10 feet. Hard to find much info on salal!! Names: Salal is also known as Oregon Wintergreen. Thank you! Stalks bend so that the flowers are all oriented in the same direction. Today, the berries are sometimes made into jams or jellies often in combination with other berries. The fruit is sweet, but the texture is somewhat mealy. It will take 6-10 hours for the berries to dry. Plants of Coastal British Columbia Including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. Once established, salal spreads aggressively and is well-suited for use Salal The Heath FamilyEricaceae. symbol: GASH Salmonberries are too juicy to make fruit leather.

to favorable microsites or to periods of unusual weather conditions. Phenology: Bloom Period: April-May. Douglas-fir, Sitka spruce, and western hemlock, and to a lesser degree Superdivision - Spermatophyta (seed plants). Its shiny deep-green leaves remain beautiful all year. Harvesting and Preparation: Gather berries when they are deep blue, plump and tasty. purplish, or bluish black [edible] "pseudoberry" or capsule which is made up of a Variation: Some people choose to cook their berries gently on the stovetop until they are reduced to a thick paste. Few seedlings establish despite Two other Gaultherias occur in montane subalpine and alpine habitats of the northwest: Western Tea-Berry, Gaultheria ovatifolia and Alpine Wintergreen, Gaultheria humifusa. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon,British Columbia & Alaska. Leaf: Simple, alternate, persistent, ovate to oval, 2 to 4 inches long, leathery texture, dark glossy green above and paler below, margins finely serrate, veins arcuate. Use by people: Salal berries were eaten fresh by natives and mashed and dried into cakes.