salal Ericaceae Gaultheria
shallon Pursh symbol: GASH
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.
Flower: Perfect, small (1/4 inch), urn-shaped, pink to white, and borne in elongated clusters, appearing in early summer.
Fruit: Small (1/4 inch), round, bluish-black berries, edible.
Twig: New twigs green to red and covered with short hairs, older twigs grayish brown and smooth. Twigs change angles between each node, giving a distinctive zig-zag appearance.
Bark: Seldom seen because of thicket-forming nature of salal. reddish brown to grayish brown and longitudinally scaly.
Form: An evergreen shrub that varies in height depending on light. In full sun, it forms dense, low thickets 1 to 3 feet high. In shadier environments it is much more spindly, reaching 10 feet. Sprouts profusely from rhizomes.
Additional Range Information: Gaultheria shallon is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting salal.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson