gaultheria

Our native Salal is so common and adaptable to our region that it tends to be overlooked if not totally ignored by the gardener; but it definitely deserves a second look. It is a lush shrub, growing typically 3-6 feet tall, forming thickets (good bird habitat) in shade or partial shade.

 gaultheria
Gaultheria shallon: Salal

The leaves are somewhat large (2-4” long x 1-3” wide), with an almost reptilian texture of the richest green hue. The flowers, that are abundant in spring and early summer, are clusters of drooping bell-shaped white-to-pinkish flowers, delicate and lovely in contrast to the tougher-looking foliage.

The blue-black berries that follow were at one time a staple food of the native people of this region, and can be a tasty berry to make into jelly or jam. Or, simply left in place to provide food for visiting birds to your garden. As an evergreen, it provides color and texture to the winter garden, and year-round is relatively pest and disease free.

Salal grows best in partial shade, but is perfectly adaptable to a more open, south-facing sunny location as long as it has good drainage and a dampish root run; but because it can form a thicket it can become invasive.

 gaultheria
Gaultheria shallon: Salal

Nevertheless, it is perfectly suited to a small garden if kept in check. For a thick groundcover, it is a much better choice than some more invasive and destructive non-natives. Easy to care for, once established, it can be a treasured foundation of the garden.

Find Natives for your garden

We offer a great selection of Northwest Natives from spring through fall. The plants featured are highlighted favorites, but they do not represent ALL of the plants we carry. For a more complete list, see our Northwest Native Plant List.

Natives

Abies: Native Fir

Natives

Acer Circinatum: Vine Maple

Natives

Actaea: Bugbane

Natives

Aquilegia: Columbine

Natives

Arbutus: Pacific Madrone

Natives

Asarum: Wild Ginger

Natives

Asclepias: Milkweed

Natives

Attracting Butterflies

Natives

Camassia: Camas

Natives

Ceanothus: Wild Lilac

Natives

Cornus sericea

Red Twig Dogwood
Natives

Corylus cornuta

Beaked Hazelnut
Natives

Dodecatheon: Shooting Star

Natives

Edible Fruits

Natives

Erigeron: Fleabane

Natives

Eriophyllum: Oregon Sunshine

Natives

Native Ferns

Natives

Fragaria: Wild Strawberry

Natives

Gaultheria shallon: Salal

Natives

Holodiscus: Oceanspray

Natives

Attracting Hummingbirds

Natives

Native Iris

Natives

Lewisia: Bitterroot

Natives

Mahonia: Oregon Grape

Natives

Malus fusca

Western Crabapple
Natives

Osmaronia: Indian Plum

Natives

Penstemon: Beard Tongue

Natives

Philadelphus: Mock Orange

Natives

Physocarpus

Western Ninebark
Natives

Pinus: Native Pine

Natives

Quercus: Garry Oak

Natives

Rhamnus: Cascara

Natives

Ribes: Wild Currant

Natives

Rosa: Wild Rose

Natives

Rubus: Salmonberry

Natives

Sambucus: Elderberry

Natives

Sedum: Stonecrop

Natives

Sidalcea: Checker Mallow

Natives

Sisyrinchium

Blue-eyed Grass
Natives

Solidago: Goldenrod

Natives

Symphoricarpos: Snowberry

Natives

Synthyris: Native Figwort

Natives

Trillium: Wake Robin

Natives

Vaccinium: Huckleberry

Natives

Vancouveria: Inside-out Flower

Natives

Viburnum trilobum

Cranberrybush
Natives

Viola: Violet

Natives

Winter Interest